Cheryl Wicks: Do your pet, yourself and Nevada County a favor!
Submitted to The Union
If you have a pet, please get it spayed/neutered. The obvious reason is that we have an overpopulation of pets. So many of these pets end up in shelters and rescues, leading to the conclusion that they are not wanted by those who allow their dogs to reproduce at random.
There are 4 to 5 million pets dying in shelters every year because nobody wants them. This is a tragedy. Most of these animals have done nothing wrong.
There are other important reasons to spay/neuter your pet. Female dogs spayed before their first heat do not get mammary gland tumors. Each successive heat increases the likelihood of these tumors occurring. It is not uncommon for your female dog to get pyometra, a hormonal abnormality with a secondary bacterial infection. Your dog will die without a costly surgery.
Some have an idealized view of the “miracle of birth” and are thinking of human birth and family creation. This is all a bit different for a dog or a cat. When a dog or cat is in heat, any male will mate with her, whether she wants to or not. Then the mother is pregnant for a couple of months, gives birth, suckles her babies for six weeks until she is worn out, they are given away and she never sees them again. Does this seem like a great experience for a mama cat or dog?
Unneutered tom cats usually look beaten up because they are sure to be in fights with other unneutered cats fighting for territory and the unspayed females in it. These aren’t usually pampered cats who get their battle wounds treated by veterinarians.
They are left to make it on their own. Sometimes they don’t.
Male dogs can detect female dogs in heat up to a mile away. “Generally” dogs have an olfactory sense approximately 100,000 to 1,000,000 times more acute than a human’s.
Do you ever wonder why your dog digs out, hops fences and generally runs off. It probably has something to do with reproduction. If you want your dog to be a good pet and be focused on the family get him neutered.
If none of the above convinces you, here is an interesting statistic: 95 percent of all fatal attacks on humans by dogs are unneutered/unspayed animals.
“I can’t afford it” is no excuse. There is help for low-income people. There are two low-cost spay/neuter clinics: Animal Spay and Neuter (530-889-8800) and AnimalSave (530-477-1706.)
If you need more help, Sammie’s Friends gives out vouchers to low-income residents of Nevada County to assist in the cost of spay/neuter for your cat or dog.
If you have a pitbull, chihuahua, malamute or husky, Pound Puppy Rescue (530-272-1716) will pay to have your dog spayed/neutered. Do your pet, yourself and your community a favor! Spay/neuter.
Cheryl Wicks is the co-founder and president of Sammie’s Friends.
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