Roses are red. Violets are blue. If you love animals, here’s what you should do: Make a date with your veterinarian. No, not for dinner and a movie—a date to have your animal companions “snipped.”
Show Your Companion Love This Month by Having Them Sterilized
February may be associated with romance, thanks to Valentine’s Day, but it’s also Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, and if you have an animal friend who still hasn’t been “fixed,” there’s no better time to do it. Every February on the last Tuesday of the month, World Spay Day celebrates the importance of animal birth control.
Many veterinarians, spay/neuter clinics, and animal shelters offer special deals on spaying and neutering in February, helping you save a little cash. More importantly, having your animals fixed saves lives.
Swipe Left on Animal Overpopulation and Homelessness
Kittens and puppies are cute—but animal homelessness is not. On any given day in the U.S., an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats struggle to survive. When people fail to sterilize their animal companions, even more animals are born only to end up on the streets, where they are vulnerable to traffic, weather extremes, attacks from other animals, cruel humans, diseases, infections, and other deadly dangers.
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month Is the Time to Beat the Heat
In many parts of the country, February is the last chance to get cats spayed before longer daylight hours shift their breeding cycles into overdrive. “Kitten season” begins in early spring, and for many shelters, it brings an influx of felines and a mad scramble to accommodate them all.
Many shelters have no choice but to make room by euthanizing older cats who’ve been there a while and are less likely to be adopted. Other facilities turn away newcomers—leaving them in the hands of people who can’t or won’t take care of them. Many rejected animals end up on the streets, where they struggle to fend for themselves and inevitably succumb to illness or injuries.
That goes for dogs, too. An “oops” litter of puppies can appear just as quickly as unplanned kittens can. Unless those pups are fixed, they can soon go on to have litters of their own, further worsening the problem.
How much of a difference does spaying and neutering make? A world of difference! Spaying one female dog can prevent the births of 67,000 puppies over the course of six years, and fixing one female cat can prevent 370,000 kittens from being born in seven years. That’s hundreds of thousands of animals who will never know the pain of homelessness.
A Neuter or Spay Keeps the Doctor Away
Having your companion sterilized is also one of the best decisions that you can make to protect their health. Spaying spares female animals the stress and discomfort of heat periods, greatly reduces their risk of mammary cancer, and eliminates their risk of diseases of the ovaries and uterus—including cancer. Early “fixing” is a good thing: Females who are spayed before their first heat cycle not only avoid pregnancy but also have one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer.
Giving males the “snip” reduces their risk of prostate cancer and eliminates any chance of testicular cancer. It also helps keep the boys out of trouble: Neutered males have less of an urge to roam and fight. Altered animals are also less likely to contract deadly, contagious diseases, such as feline AIDS and feline leukemia, which are spread through bodily fluids.
PETA’s Mobile Clinics Division Offers Low-Cost or Free Sterilization
As much as PETA loves birds and bees, the effects of not sterilizing companion animals are catastrophic. That’s why our mobile clinics spay and neuter hundreds of companion animals every week at little or no cost to their guardians, helping to prevent the births and inevitable suffering of countless unwanted dogs and cats.
It’s Time for ‘The Talk’
If your animal companions are already fixed, give yourself a pat on the back—and then get to work finding another animal who needs to be “snipped.” Chances are, each of us knows someone—perhaps a family member, neighbor, or colleague—who just hasn’t gotten around to making that appointment yet or who can’t afford it. We can make a world of difference by encouraging those people to have their animals sterilized, offering to drive their animals to and from their appointments, or even paying for the surgery ourselves.
We can’t give our cats and dogs a box of chocolates during the month of love, but we can give them something even better. Let’s show them real love by lowering their risk of contracting fatal diseases and ensuring that they don’t contribute to animal overpopulation and homelessness. Make an appointment to have your friend “fixed” today.