Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming and many unwanted puppies and kittens are being born. Unfortunately, there are still many homeless dogs and cats or worse yet, owners who don’t believe in spaying or neutering because they believe it is bad for their pets.
As a teacher who works with students from all over the world, I sometimes wonder if it is cultural. Although, there are many unwanted puppies and kittens born in the United States, if you travel in other countries, you will see many more homeless animals wandering the street.
Personally, I know several educated and intellectual Latin Americans who still believe that neutering their male pets makes their animals somehow less “manly”, and thus refuse to do so.
One of them lives with two male dogs and a female dog and the three cannot be in the same room at the same time, so the two poor males are separately delegated to their time indoors and outdoors, so they won’t fight.
Of course, the solution to a peaceful and united household would be to neuter the dogs, but cultural machismo prevents it ,despite the many sound reasons for spaying or neutering. Most animal organizations, including the Humane Society and the ASPCA, as well as other international animal organizations agree that spaying and neutering helps the animal to live a longer, healthier life
Spaying and neutering reduces or eliminates the odds of breast cancer and dangerous uterine infections in females and prostate problems and testicular cancer in males. It can prevent behavioral problems, such as the above fighting.
Spaying and neutering also reduces the number of homeless pets. To quote Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, “Spaying and neutering is the best way to address animal homelessness. By preventing unwanted and unplanned litters, we can reduce the number of homeless animals in local shelters.”
He continues, “This is why San Diego Humane Society began our needs-based community spay/neuter program nearly four years ago. Without this program, there would be few options for accessible spay/neuter services, which would make our job of eliminating animal homelessness that much more of a challenge.”
Friends of Humane Society Tijuana regularly holds mobile spay and neuter clinics around Baja California. They also educate the public on the importance of doing so.
Let us hope the number of low-cost spay and neuter clinics grows, not only in the United States, but around the world, so people of all incomes have that option. Finally, more education on this matter should also be more widespread and available.
Friends of Humane Society Tijuana
The San Diego Humane Society