• Spay and Neuter FAQs
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  • 1. What should I do with a found dog or cat?

    If you find a friendly, catchable dog or cat who has no identification, take him home with you and contact local animal shelters immediately with photos and/or a description of the pet.  A local vet, emergency animal clinic, or animal shelter may be glad to scan him at no charge for a microchip. If no microchip is found, put up "Found" posters and place "Found" ads in Craigs List and other free newspapers and/or bulletin boards.  Hopefully, the owner will step up to claim him right away.

    After a few days, if no one has claimed him, you may be able to keep him for your own or you may want to find him a trustworthy "forever" home for him on your own (after getting him spayed/neutered, of course!)  You should ask your local animal shelter about lost-pet-ownership laws in your area.  If you cannot keep him or place him in a trustworthy new "forever" home, then you should turn him over to a local animal shelter.

    If you find an "uncatchable" or unfriendly dog or cat, it's best to call 911 or a non-emergency animal control phone number to report the stray and get them to pick him up.  Tragically, stray dogs and cats die of starvation, exposure to the elements, are subject to animal cruelty, are hit by cars, spread diseases like rabies, and have unwanted litters.  Animal control can at least usually get them off of the streets.

    Note:  There are organizations who advocate Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs for feral cats like "Alley Cat Allies" or the United States Humane Society (USHS.)  Your local animal shelter may also be familiar with TNR and be able to help.  Here are a couple of links regarding feral cats:




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  • 2. What is responsible and humane pet ownership?

    Being a responsible and humane pet owner means:

    Collar with ID:  Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with ID at all times (both indoor or outdoor pets.)  The collar should have his name and at least two current phone numbers.  At most major pet supply stores, there are inexpensive ID tags that actually rivet or screw on to the collar so that the tag cannot be separated from the collar.  (Of course, cats should only wear the "break-away type" collar.)

    Microchip your pet and keep the registry up-to-date with your current phone numbers and address.  Microchipping costs as little as $25 in many places now.  Any vet or animal shelter can scan a found pet for a microchip.  Microchip both indoor and outdoor pets. Things happen --accidents, break-ins, deaths, tornadoes, pet theft, floods, fires, or simply doors left open by accident.  Don't take a chance on losing your pet.

    If you lose your pet, contact every nearby county animal shelter immediately with a description and photos --and hurry!  Sometimes, the shelters are full and there is only a 72-hour "re-claim" period before they must euthanize.  It's not the shelter's fault.  They may be out of space and supplies.

    Don't surrender your pet to an animal shelter or abandon him because he's become inconvenient for you.  Moving, getting married, getting a different job, an additional pet, or having a baby --none of these are an excuse for abandoning your pet.  When you adopted him, you became his guardian and best friend.  It's a 10- to 15-year commitment.  If there is a behavior issue, it can likely be addressed.  Pets can be trained and re-trained and are every day.  You should work with your vet, a trainer, or ask your friends for help --whatever it takes!  If you simply can't keep him, return him to the rescue agency/shelter/breeder you got him from, or find him a new, loving, forever home on your own.  If you surrender your pet to a shelter, he will be terribly frightened and confused.  And since less than half of the animals in shelters make it out alive, he may very well be euthanized.

    Spay/Neuter!  Unless you are a professional, experienced breeder who carefully hand-raises one litter at a time and whose pets are in great demand, please have your pets spayed/neutered!  Pet sterilization saves lives -- hundreds and thousands of lives.  Medical experts agree pet sterilization makes your pet happier, easier to live with, and healthier.  As the saying goes, "If you love them, spay/neuter!"

    You are responsible for your dog or cat's yearly vet check-up''s and/or vaccinations, monthly prevention treatment for both heartworms and fleas, his daily exercise, regular grooming, and loving companionship.  As his owner, you are hislifetime best friend.  Our pets give us so much joy and love --taking care of them is the least we can do!

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  • 3. How young can I spay or neuter my pet?

    Cats can start having litters of kittens as early as four months old!  So, the standard recommendation for spay/neuter of kittens is 8 to 10 weeks old and weighing at least two pounds.

    Dogs can start having litters of puppies at very young ages, too, and sometimes they can have 12 or 13 puppies in just one litter!

    snc-homelesscatsFor both cats and dogs, 8 to 10 weeks old (and weighing at least 2 pounds or more) is usually the ideal age to spay or neuter your pet.

    The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) supports pediatric spay/neuter in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted pets.

    Even if your pet is an indoor-only pet and you feel sterilization is not required, remember this:  In an emergency situation such as fire, flood, break-in, door left open, storms, moves, medical emergency, or other unexpected event, your "indoor-only" pet may bolt out the door or be accidentally left or placed outside.  These events happen every single day.

    There are many long-term health benefits for sterilizing your pet. Spayed females have a far lower incidence of mammary cancer than unspayed females.  Uterine infections, including pyometra (a serious, even life-threatening infection of the uterus, common in older unspayed females), and ovarian cancers are completely eliminated. Testicular cancer in males is also eliminated. But the reduction of objectionable sexually-related behavior in your pet is perhaps your best reason for sterilization. The natural urges of sexually intact pets make them hard to live with: they spray urine to mark their territory, they escape to seek sexual partners or fight with rivals, they howl, whine, mount legs or furniture, get blood on the carpet and gather packs of amorous suitors outside your doors.  These bothersome, embarrassing and destructive behaviors are, with few exceptions, a thing of the past when your pet is spayed or neutered.

    If you love them, be safe -- spay and neuter.

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  • 4. I'll find good homes for all the puppies/kittens.

    You may find homes for your puppies and kittens, but you can only control what decisions you make with your own pet --not the decisions other people make with theirs. Your pet’s puppies and kittens or their puppies or kittens could end up homeless and/or in an animal shelter.

    snc-photo-litter-shelterDo you want to be responsible for that?

    Every year, an adult female cat can have three litters with an average of four kittens.

    And each year, an adult female dog can have two litters with an average of four puppies (although sometimes dogs have 12 or 13 puppies!)

    If you love them, spay and neuter.

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  • 5. Is spay or neuter surgery expensive?

    There are many low-cost options for spay/neuter services. Most regions of the U.S. have at least one low-cost spay/neuter clinic within driving distance that charge $100 or less for the procedure. Many veterinarians provide discounts through subsidized voucher programs.

    snc-photo-puppies in cageGrants or donations are sometimes available which can make sterilization surgery as little as $20 to $60 depending on your location and what type of pet you have.

    Remember, we're talking about a one-time charge for a companion pet who may brighten your life for 15+ years. Besides, not neutering a pet can also be very expensive: it can cost a lot to patch up your intact male cat after a backyard brawl with a rival, and the increased food cost for a pregnant or nursing female (as well as food and shots for her litter) can quickly add up to the money you "saved" by not having the surgery.

    Please contact us if you need help or if you have questions not covered here in our FAQ's.

    If you love animals, please spay and neuter.

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  • 6. But my pet is so special, I want another one just like him or her.

    Your pet's puppies or kittens are very unlikely to be carbon copy of your pet. Even professional breeders cannot make that kind of guarantee.

    snc-brown-homeless-dog-sleepThere are wonderful shelter pets waiting for homes who are just as beautiful, smart, and loving as your own. There are many breed-specific rescue groups out there, too.

    And if you're thinking that it doesn't seem "fair" to sterilize your pet, please consider this: We know you love your pet and want him or her to have the best life possible. But don't project human feelings or ideas in regards to this subject onto your pet. He/She is not a person and has a less complicated mind. What your pet wants most (after needs for food and shelter are met) is a loving, happy relationship with you -- and puppies or kittens may get in the way of that relationship. Some females show discomfort and feelings of divided loyalty when they have a litter, but still want to be your constant companion as before. And your pet is likely to be happier without the strong sexual urges which will have to be frustrated, at least a good part of the time. Our pets can devote themselves to us and live full, happy lives without the parenting experience.

    Don't risk being responsible for needless deaths. If you love animals, please spay or neuter.

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  • 7. Will my pet get fat or lazy?

    The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don't give them enough exercise.

    snc-photo-puppy-in-cage2Many studies have shown pet sterilization has nothing to do with weight gain.

    Sterilization assures a longer, healthier life for most dogs and cats.

    If you love them, please spay or neuter.

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  • 8. I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.

    Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Studies show neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.

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  • 9. If I want my dog to be protective, should I leave him intact?

    No, it is the natural instinct of many dogs to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed much more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.

    Trust us, we know lots of very protective dogs who are sterilized.

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  • 10. Should I breed my pet since he or she is purebred?

    No. At least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country are purebreds. And roughly half of all the animals turned in to shelters are euthanized.

    snc-homeless-shepherd-afraidThere are just too many dogs and cats— mixed breeds and purebred.

    You may be able to place your entire litter of puppies or kittens, but you have no control over what happens to them or their future litters.

    Don't risk adding to the tragedy of overpopulation. If you are an animal lover, you don't want to be responsible for needless deaths.

    If you love them, please spay or neuter.

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  • 11. I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.

    snc-photo-dog in cage pitThe miracle of birth is greatly overshadowed by the thousands of animals euthanized in animal shelters in communities all across the country every day.

    Teach children that life is precious and to be humane and responsible by spaying and neutering your pets.

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  • 12. Should I let my pet have one litter before sterilization?

    Absolutely not. Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. The evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier than those that have a litter.

    snc-homelesscatsmany-1Many veterinarians sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. Eight to ten weeks old is usually an ideal age to have your pet sterilized.

    Remember, even one litter can result in homelessness or needless euthanasia. Even if you find good homes for the pets in your litter, who is to say every one of those new pet owners will? You have no control over what happens to your kittens or puppies once they leave your home.

    Sterilization offers long-term health benefits for your pet. Spayed females have a far lower incidence of mammary cancer than unspayed females, and pyometra (a serious, even life- threatening infection of the uterus, common in older unspayed females). Uterine and ovarian cancers are completely eliminated. Testicular cancer in males is also eliminated. The reduction of objectionable sexually-related behavior in your pet is perhaps your best reason for sterilization. The natural urges of sexually intact pets make them hard to live with: they spray urine to mark their territory, they escape to seek sexual partners or do battle with rivals, they howl, mount legs or furniture, get blood on the carpet, and gather packs of amorous suitors outside your door. These bothersome, embarrassing, and destructive behaviors are, with few exceptions, a thing of the past when your pet is spayed or neutered.

    Please, if you love them, spay or neuter!

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