Spay and Neuter

Spaying and neutering helps reverse the tragedy of pet overpopulation, reduces your pet’s chances of developing deadly, costly medical problems, and improves your pet’s behavior.

Too many homeless, hopeless animals…

Of the more than 30 million puppies and kittens born in the U.S. each year, only one in 10 finds a permanent home, according to the American Humane Association. The rest die of cruelty, starvation, disease, poisoning, or accidents, or they end up in a shelter. Less than 35% of shelter animals are adopted. Some 6 to 8 million adoptable dogs and cats were euthanized (humanely killed) last year. The primary causes of this tragedy: people who fail to have their pets spayed or neutered, and who abandon or give up pets because of lack of commitment to training the pet.


Sterilization of companion animals is the key to reducing this tragedy. Communities that have established sterilization programs have seen the number of pets euthanized drop by 30 to 60%.

Advantages for you and your pet

  • Neutered/spayed pets are less aggressive, less likely to fight, and less likely to bite, as documented in studies.
  • Neutered/spayed pets (especially males) are less territorial and less likely to roam. Research indicates that 80% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered males.
  • Neutered pets are less likely to mark furniture and rugs with urine.
  • Spayed females will not have heat cycles that soil rugs and furniture and usually shed less fur.
  • Neutered pets can’t develop testicular tumors, the second most common malignancy in males, and have a lower incidence of prostate cancer, which is better for your pet and means lower medical bills.
  • Spayed females typically stay healthier and live longer. They have a lower incidence of mammary tumors and no uterine or ovarian cancers, which is better for your pet and means lower medical bills.
  • Sterilization does not change the pet’s personality or cause weight gain.
  • Removing the urge to mate focuses more of a pet’s attention on the caregiver, aiding in training. Sterilized pets behave better.


Sources: American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States, Cornell University’s DogWatch

When to spay/neuter

Pets can become capable of reproduction as early as 6 months of age. That’s why pets should be spayed or neutered by age 6 months. Sterilization can safely be done before that age, as endorsed by the AVMA; the chief veterinarian of the Humane Society of the United States recommends 4 months as ideal. Older pets can safely be sterilized as well. This routine surgical procedure removes the reproductive organs. It does not cause the pet pain or stress, and most pets recover within a day.


Every litter matters.

You can make a difference!

  • Teach children the true meaning of responsible pet ownership and love by sterilizing your pets to prevent the birth of more homeless animals.
  • Adopt a homeless pet.
  • Spay or neuter a local stray.
  • Tell others the good reasons to spay and neuter pets.


Make an appointment with your veterinarian to spay or neuter your pet today.
Or contact a local low-cost spay/neuter sources.

Partnership for Animal Welfare, Inc.
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

Written by Robin Tierney