It is estimated that 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters each year in the United States alone. Of those, approximately 2 million of them are euthanized year over year. Roughly 22% are dogs and 45% are cats.
You have likely heard us share these statistics before. Everything we do here at the Furr-bulous HQ is centered around helping dogs in need. Not only from an individual standpoint, but also from a collective one. It is no secret that our biggest mission is to change the narrative that surrounds pit bull-type dogs and that truly goes hand-in-hand with rescue efforts; working towards ending the overpopulation crisis within the homeless pet community. It is all linked. Because 30 to 50 percent of shelter animals are some type of pit bull-mix.
The majority of pets euthanized on a yearly basis are perfectly healthy animals; euthanized simply because there are not enough homes to go around. And shelter statistics don’t take into account the number of stray animals living on the streets, which is estimated at up to 70 million in the United States alone. It is a true crisis. And while there are plenty of factors that contribute to this, one simple way to combat this issue, in a very big way, is through spay and neuter initiatives.
Spaying and neutering your pets directly tackles the issue of overpopulation because it means less accidental litters. Less accidental litters means less dogs being dumped at shelters or on the streets. It is a proven way to reduce the pet-homelessness issue, one that also comes with medical and behavioral benefits as well.
- It is currently the most effective birth control method for dogs and cats.
- Spaying your female pets nearly eliminates breast cancer and helps prevent uterine cancer and other infections.
- Neutering your male pets eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
- Male pets will have a reduced urge to roam in search of a mate. This also reduces the risk of injury from accidents, fights with other animals, poisoning and contracting/spreading diseases.
- Neutering your male pets will also decrease levels of testosterone which may curb unwanted behaviors such as marking territory, mounting other dogs, and even aggressive tendencies.
One of the biggest inhibitors that prevents people from spaying and neutering their pets is both cost and access. But the truth is many communities have low-cost programs in place to help people with the financial burden. Long term, spaying and neutering, will likely save people thousands of dollars because it reduces the risk of accidental litters and illnesses, both of which far surpass the cost of the spaying and neutering procedures.
This is a proven way to reduce pet overpopulation and is one big step in ensuring that every pet will eventually find a family to call their own. If you already spay and neuter your animals, please consider supporting local initiatives through volunteer and awareness-raising efforts. Monetary donations to your local spay/neuter community programs also go a long way. You can also visit the ASPCA to find low cost spay/neuter options in your area.