Letter to the Editor

Spay, neuter pets

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dear Editor,

The recent overflow of unwanted puppies at the McCook Humane Society animal shelter has prompted me to send this letter to remind the animal caretakers the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.

Thank you,

Marilyn Cuellar,

McCook Humane Society Volunteer


1. Millions of dogs and cats in animal shelters are dying for homes. Six to eight million unwanted dogs and cats pour into U.S. animal shelters every year Roughly half of these animals are put to death because there are not enough good homes for them. An estimated 900 animals are killed every hour---that adds up to more than 10,000 animals every day.

2. If you allow your animal to breed, you are effectively adding to the problem of unwanted and neglected pets surrendered every day to the animal shelters.

3. When people get raped, it's illegal! When female dogs and cats go into heat, they have to fight off every male animal for miles around---and they almost never succeed.

4. Your sexual hang-ups are yours, not your dog's! Your dog doesn't have the same macho hang-ups about his virility that you do.

Try being sentenced to a lifetime of humping sofa cushions and see how you like it, big guy.

5. Spaying or neutering your dog or cat could save his or her life. Spaying and neutering make animals less likely to get into fights, and become infected with contagious diseases and less likely to roam and get hit by cars. Spaying and neutering also prevents dogs and cats from getting deadly cancers and other diseases of the reproductive system.

6. Spaying and neutering animals doesn't make them fat -- you do. Animals gain weight for two reasons: they eat too much, and they don't get enough exercise. If you don't want your dog to get fat, cut back on the between-meal biscuits and take your dog for walks! You will benefit from the exercise too.

7. A responsible breeder follows the guidelines of caring properly for their animals. Breeders who use unhealthy animals to bring others into the world with health problems are just adding to the problem of too many abandoned pets in animal shelters.

8. Condemning animals to a life sentence in a cage or a kennel without parole, in order to thrive, and be happy, dogs and cats need love, individual attention and room to play.

9. Animal birth control is as easy as ABC! Puppies and kittens can be spayed or neutered when they are as young as eight weeks old. Spaying your dog or cat costs less than dinner for two and a movie, and it's definitely cheaper than feeding and getting veterinary care for a mother dog or cat and her babies. But it doesn't just save money -- it also saves lives.

10. It's the right thing to do -- and you know it. In the time it took to read this list, animal shelter workers somewhere, were forced to euthanize nearly 30 animals. Please don't add to the dog and cat overpopulation crisis by breeding your animals. Practice your ABCs, and urge everyone you know to do the same.

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