Living With Animals

You’ve heard me say it before, and you’re going to hear me say it again (and again): spaying (technically an ovariohysterectomy performed on female dogs, cats and other pet animals) and neutering (surgical castration) is the best bet to reduce companion animal suffering and death. Here’s how. Pet overpopulation is the cause of more animal death than all animal diseases combined. Consequently, reducing overpopulation is the best way to reduce euthanasia. Spaying and neutering saves lives.

PHS/SPCA and this community have much to be proud of in this regard. We were the first humane organization in the country to offer low-cost public spay/neuter surgery, something we’ve done without interruption since opening our first clinic in 1970. Add to that, through the generosity of our members we’ve also been offering no-cost spay/neuter surgery, targeting selected communities, with our “Go Nuts!” mobile clinic since 2005. As a result, we’ve reduced euthanasia here by over 98%, making San Mateo County about the best place for dogs and cats in the country.

But these surgeries not only save future lives. These surgeries also have significant health benefits for the animals who receive the operations. Spaying helps prevent breast tumors (malignant in about half of dogs and 90% of cats) and painful, expensive to treat uterine infections. Spaying before the animal’s first heat offers the best chance of prevention. Neutering prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems. Neutered males are also less likely to roam (in search of love, if you know what I mean) as well as several other not-so-lovely male traits (like lifting a leg on the couch or company). Neutering does not make a dog or cat fat or lazy (lack of exercise and over-feeding are the culprits there), nor does it mean an animal is less likely to protect her or his family when feeling threatened.

So hooray for spay, and neuter is indeed cuter! Call the PHS/SPCA spay/neuter clinic at 650-340-7015 to find out more.

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