February is Spay-Neuter month, designated by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Humane Society International as a means to raise public awareness of the importance of sterilizing cats and dogs. Spaying and neutering pets and strays not only saves the lives of the animals by controlling their overpopulation and preventing them from ending up in kill shelters where they almost certainly will face euthanasia but also benefits the animals’ health as well as their demeanor, conduct and socializing skills.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), spayed or neutered cats and dogs live a healthier and better life than their counterparts which are able to produce offspring, and they also have less behavioral problems. Among the health benefits spayed and neutered cats and dogs gain are a decrease or absence of testicular cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and uterine infection. Spaying and neutering cats and dogs will also help them to become more amiable and less aggressive, and a sterilized dog is less likely to roam, enter into fights or bite people.
Animal clinics and shelters around the country offer surgery to spay or neuter a cat or dog at a reduced price or even free of charge. In the Tampa Bay area in Florida, Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT) offers pet owners affordable medical procedures and medications for their dogs and cats and often has specials for spaying and neutering besides providing a monthly SpayDay clinic for sterilizing feral and homeless cats. Hillsborough County in Florida gives out spay-neuter vouchers for residents who are not financially able to pay for their pets’ surgeries.
For more information about ACT, go to: http://www.actampa.org/
For more information about Hillsborough County’s spay-neuter voucher program, click here.
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