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- Spaying (surgical removal of female ovaries and uterus) and castration or neutering (surgical removal of male testicles) is the most effective and humane stray animal management strategy, and presents benefits for both animals and people.
- Fewer unwanted litters. The animals can no longer breed and multiply, thereby the stray animal population eventually decreases.
- Less nuisance behaviour. Sterilising animals eliminates the desire to find a mate. This means fewer animals wandering into traffic; chasing or biting people or their pets while protecting a litter; or unwittingly spreading pests and disease. A cleaner, happier and healthier environment for us all.
- Less fighting. Fights over territorial boundaries are common where sources of food and shelter are limited. With fewer litters being born, competition for food and shelter is lessened and there is an overall improvement in quality of life for the animal.
- Improved Health. Repeated pregnancy takes a toll on the female body, with animals reproducing each season experiencing a reduction in general health. Spaying females reduces the incidence of breast cancer, eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer and uterine infections, and sexually transmitted diseases (such as venereal tumours).
- Improved demeanour. Problems with territorial or sexual aggression in male dogs can be partly managed by neutering, which also eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and greatly reduces the chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
- Stabilisation of numbers. As dogs are territorial by nature, returning sterilised dogs to their own territory prevents other dogs ‘moving in’.
- Less injury. Tom cats (unsterilised males) are known to ‘rape’ female cats, and do not discriminate between sterilised and unsterilised females. Toms can inflict serious and painful injuries to female cats.
- Cleaner environments. Tom cats are notorious for indiscriminate ‘spraying’ of scent, which is generally offensive to most people. Neutering virtually eliminates the offensive scent.
- Preserving native species. Domestic cats and dogs are introduced species in urban environments. Many populations of native species of animal, birds and reptiles are compromised by stray animals either by becoming prey or from loss of habitat/food source.
True or False?
I had my dog spayed at 12 weeks old and she’s fine. TRUE
In fact, early spay/neuter in dogs is common practice – you needn’t wait much past 14 weeks.
If I sterilise my pet it will become fat and lazy. FALSE
Generally, it’s over-fed, under-exercised animals that get fat and lazy. It’s your responsibility to ensure this doesn’t happen by reducing food intake if necessary or providing more exercise for your pet.
It’s important and only natural for my pet to have/father one litter before I have it sterilised. FALSE
There is no psychological or physiological benefit to your pet by having a litter.
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