The Problems of Pet Overpopulation

Kittens and puppies are little wonders. With their big eyes and little side-hops gait, they are tiny sweethearts, aren't they? But within 6 months, those little babies will be mature enough to start having babies of their own. Imagine that! One litter of 5 kittens could be the beginning of a feline population explosion. Find that hard to believe? OK, let's look at some kitty math:

1 unspayed female cat +

1 unneutered male cat + their offspring

= 420,000 kittens within 7 years

Convinced? No? OK, let's try some doggy arithmetic:

1 unspayed female dog +

1 unneutered male dog + their offspring

= 4,372 puppies within 7 years

Still not convinced? OK, how about this:

For every person born in the United States,

15 puppies and 45 kittens are also born.

What do all of these animals mean for our communities? What are the benefits of spaying and neutering our pets? And what can we do to get the word out into the minds of the public?

First, let's look at the problems that many communities face because of unsterilized animals.

Why Spay or Neuter: Community Problems

Only 1 of every 9 cats or dogs will find a loving home.

Every year, 8 - 12 million animals are killed in shelters.

No-kill shelters must turn animals away; there is no more room.

Some communities must spend millions of dollars annually for animal control and euthanasia.

Irresponsible breeding practices may contribute to dog attacks on children.

But that's not all. Owner negligience also creates problems for our pets.

Why Spay or Neuter: Pet Problems

Unaltered females may develop breast cancer or uterine cancer. Unaltered males may develop prostrate problems.

Unspayed or unneutered pets are more likely to stray from home. These animals die painfully: from starvation, from freezing to death, from animal fights, and from being hit by vehicles.

An unspayed female cat or dog will just keep having unwanted kittens or puppies.

Unneutered male pets will spray expensive shrubbery--in your yard and in your neighbors' yards.

Obviously, pet overpopulation is a growing problem for many communities. But we can help our friends and neighbors realize the harm they create by not spaying or neutering their pets.

Spaying and Neutering: What Can We Do?

We can make sure that our own pets are spayed and/or neutered.

We can educate our neighborhood or community to the benefits of this low-cost operation for pets.

We can support the campaign for the United States Postal Service to issue a first class "Spay/Neuter" stamp.

When using return address labels, we can include a line for Spay/Neuter information.

We can donate generously to those organizations that provide low-cost spaying and neutering. For example, Pennsylvania Pets is a worthwhile organization that helps with pet sterilization.

Prevent A Litter -- It's Good for Your Pet

Prevent A Litter -- It's Good for Your Community

Prevent A Litter -- It's Good for You

Prevent A Litter -- It's Good for Everybody

Thanks to Holly Burns from The Dog Hause and to the United States Humane Society

OK, What's Next?

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