Why should we spay or neuter our pets? We need to spay and neuter or in other words ‘fix’ them because the animals are breeding so much that they are overpopulating and many of them get hit by cars or end up in shelters because they have nowhere else to go.
      What is spaying or neutering? Spaying or neutering refers to a surgical procedure to render a dog or cat unable to produce litters of puppies or kittens. In addition to halting reproduction, other health benefits include the prevention of certain types of cancers and behavioral problems that include roaming, fighting for the attention of a mate and “marking” territory. Chemical sterilization solutions which are injected or eaten do exist for wildlife and are in limited use in other countries for cats and dogs, but they are not generally used in companion animals in the United States at this time.
         Some people take their animals and leave them somewhere instead of taking the time to care for them. There are people who try to get rid of their animals by putting them in a bag and throwing them on the side of the road, hoping that they won’t make it or people will put them in a bag with rock and throw that into a river so that the animals will drown. People are finding new ways to get rid of their animals.
      We need to take control by getting our animals ‘fixed’ when we adopt an animal so that we can help to keep the population under control. ‘Fixing’ our animals is not a bad thing like some people may think it is. There are certain health problems that can be avoided by getting our animals ‘fixed’. An example is when you get your male dog neutered, you can avoid testicular cancer. If you get your female dog spayed, you might be able to avoid ovarian cancer. “To help reduce the number of animals in shelters, PETA is compiling model legislation for public officials”(Annie gentile). With breeding going crazy in animals, more and more have ended up in shelters where unfortunately a lot of them have been euthanized. “Pet owners must pay to sterilize their animals if Animal Control captures them a second time. The city operates a low-cost spay/ neuter clinic to encourage residents to sterilize their pets”(Annie Gentile). Annie says in the article, “Los Angeles passed its law specifically to reduce the number of animals in its six shelters. The shelters typically house 1,000 to 1,500 animals, says Ed Boks, Los Angeles Animal Services a general manager. Since 2001, the city has been reducing the number of animals euthanized in the shelter, and, in 2007. the number dropped to 15,009 from 19,238 in 2006.” The animal rights group PETA is fighting for animal rights. “To help reduce the number of animals in shelters, PETA is compiling model legislation tor public officials. The group recommends and supports laws that require mandatory sterilization of impounded animals and differential 1 icensing, which is the practice of charging owners of sterilized animals substantially less for licenses than owners of non-sterilized animals” (Annie Gentile).

      “The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recognized that pet overpopulation is a problem, and has issued a policy statement to that effect” (Donald K. Allen). Veterinarians are noticing that pets and animals are overpopulating, causing problems with animals getting hit and also ending up in overflowing shelters. Some veterinarians and people see animals that are no longer living in a loving home, people don’t care anymore. “It appears that when a dog or cat crosses the line from “owned” to “unowned,” we wash our hands of them, and they become invisible to us (the collective “us” of the veterinary profession). And yet we (collectively again) complain and grouse when lay people organize and act to reduce overpopulation through spay/neuter clinics. If it’s not our problem, then don’t complain when someone else is trying to help” (Donald K. Allen).
      A veterinarian in New York is trying to battle over population. “Not only does Kaplan help the animals that come through the doors at City Veterinary Care, he is also trying to help dogs and cats throughout the city with The Toby Project” (Stephanie Fellenstein). There are so many animals that need to be helped. “The Toby Project is a non-profit organization offering free and low-cost spay/neuter services primarily to low income pet owners in New York City, Kaplan says. “This is not a novel idea. It is not a stab in the dark. It works.” With a mobile surgical van. The Toby Project hit the streets in February 2009. And since then, approximately 5,200 dogs and cats have been spayed and neutered. Unfortunately, Kaplan pointed out, they must spay or neuter 50,000 low-income owned pets for 10 years before there is a drop in shelter populations” (Stephanie Fellenstein).Stephanie Fellenstein says in the article, ‘Adopting is not working. Five to 10 million dogs and cats are killed each year-25, 000 a day-in the United States,” he says. We can go to every shelter and kill all the animals and overpopulation will be gone for one day, but the next day the problem will be back. Prevention solves things,” he says. With that in mind, the surgical
van-Kaplan hopes to add another van within six months-rotates through low-income neighborhoods four days each week.’ Stepanie says in the article “Kaplan hopes one day that no dog or cat will be put to death simply because there were not enough homes for them.”
      Spaying and/or neutering your pets will ultimately help in the fight to control the animal population. Lets work together in the fight to keep animals out of shelters and out of danger from our roads or euthanasia.


                                                                                                                   Works Cited
Allen, Donald K. “Why aren’t we leading the effort.” DVM: The Newsmagazine of            Veterinary Medicine, vol. 36, no. 9, Sept 2005. Pp. 36-37. EBSCOhost,                        chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=

Fellenstein, Stephanie. “New York City vet takes on overpopulation.” DVM: The               Newsmagazine of Veterinary Medicine. Vol. 42, no.7. July 2011. Pp.43-44.                 EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=

Gentile, Annie. “Los Angeles requires residents to ‘fix’ pets. (Cover Story).”                       American City and Country, vol. 123, no. 5, May 2008, pp. 18-20. EBSCOhost,         chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=