As I sit here writing with my four rescue babies fast asleep nestled in various and sundry positions all around me, I am intimately reminded of why spaying and neutering our animals is so very important. My rescues weren’t adopted from a shelter…one was born from a stray in Fellsmere, one was found wandering the streets of Vero Beach and two were dumped in Georgia. All four were malnourished, covered in parasites and extremely neglected when they came into my life. With a little care and a lot of love, they are healthy and thriving. They are also a testament to why it is so important to make sure our animals are fixed because their stories could have had a very different ending. At HALO, we see animals in similar condition (sometimes much worse) come through our doors every single day. A pregnant mother is brought in because her owner doesn’t know what to do or can’t afford her vet bills. A litter of puppies left in a cooler (yes, a cooler) on our doorstep or worse, a litter of kittens in a box thrown out of a moving car.
February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and we wanted to take a moment to remind our community of how vital it is to spay and neuter your pets. Pet overpopulation is a HUGE problem in our country and one that we believe is solvable through responsible pet ownership. Keep this in mind: In just 6 years, one female dog and her offspring is able to produce 67,000 puppies and in just 7 years, one female cat and her offspring can produce 370,000 kittens.
Besides the importance of preventing unwanted litters, below are a few additional benefits of spaying and neutering your pet:
- Increase their lifespan. Spaying/neutering helps prevent several types of health problems including uterine infections and breast cancer in females and testicular cancer in males.
- Reduce spraying and marking. Un-neutered males will mark their territory by spraying strong (gag inducing) urine all over your home and un-spayed females will yowl and urinate in an effort to find a mate.
- Reduce roaming. An intact male will do just about anything (really, anything) to find a mate, including digging under the fence submarine style, bolting out of the front door like the Flash or scaling that chain-link fence like an escaped convict.
- Reduce aggression. A male that is not neutered is extremely territorial and naturally more aggressive. Many behavioral problems can be prevented by early neutering.
Several years ago, HALO partnered with Community Veterinary Clinic and Crossroads Animal Hospital and introduced the Low Cost Voucher Program which provides residents of Indian River County with reduced cost spay/neuter services. For the entire month of February, we are waiving the $5 voucher fee and are distributing these for FREE*! You can pick up a voucher at the Main Shelter located at 710 Jackson Street, Sebastian, FL 32958 or at the Mall Adoption Center located next to Sears in the Indian River Mall.
If we work together, we CAN make a difference and make our dream of a no-kill world a reality!
P.S. Because of your unwavering support for HALO, euthanasia rates have dropped by 82% in Indian River County since 2006! It’s just a better way!
*Please note voucher cost for spay/neuter still applies.