Spay/Neuter

Be a Responsible Pet Owner – Spay or Neuter Your Pet!

What does it mean to spay and neuter?
Why should I spay or neuter my pet?
When and how often can animals breed?
At what age should I spay/neuter my pet?
What if I can’t afford the cost to have my pet spayed/neutered?

 


What does it mean to spay and neuter?

Female dogs and cats are spayed by removing their reproductive organs.  Male dogs and cats are neutered by removing their testicles. In both cases, the operation is performed while the pet is under anesthesia.

Why should I spay or neuter my pet?

  • Spaying/neutering is the only effective way to eliminate pet overpopulation .
  • Spaying/neutering can lower vet bills, because fixed pets are less prone to a variety of diseases. Spayed females have a lower risk of breast cancer (90% fatal in cats and 50% fatal in dogs) and life-threatening uterine infections. Neutered males have no risk of testicular disease and a lower risk of prostate diseases.
  • Spaying/neutering can improve pet behavior.
    • A spayed female won’t go into heat which prevents yowling, frequent urination and discharge.
    • Neutered male dogs will be less aggressive and will not feel the need to mark their territory.
    • Spaying/neutering results in fewer stray, homeless, and unwanted animals – that means keeping animals off the streets and out of already overburdened animal shelters and rescue groups.


When and how often can animals breed?

Female cats can breed three times a year and have an average of four kittens per litter. Dogs can breed twice a year and have an average of 6 – 10 puppies per litter. Female cats can breed as early as four months and dogs as early as six months!


At what age should I spay/neuter my pet?

Your veterinarian can make a recommendation, based on your pet’s breed, age, and physical condition.  Contrary to popular belief, you should NOT wait until a female dog or cat has had its first heat cycle.


What if I can’t afford the cost to have my pet spayed/neutered?

The cost to have your pet spayed/neutered is a one-time cost that is much less expensive than the cost of caring for one or more litters.  Here are some resources that may be able to help:

  • Spay Neuter Assistance Program(SNAP) is a joint venture between the SPCA and Valley Cat Rescue to help low-income households with spaying/neutering cats.  Click here to learn more.
  • Eastern Pennsylvania Animal Alliance is a regional low cost spay/neuter organization with mobile clinics operating throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Please visit their website to learn more and schedule an appointment today!