By: Paulette Dean, Executive Director, Danville Humane Society
If March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. If it comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion. That’s how the saying goes for people who like to predict weather.
All I know is that March may be a difficult month for animal shelters all over the United States since the winter has been such a mild one. Already at the shelter in Danville, we are receiving young kittens and puppies that should not have been born during winter.
Since one unspayed female dog and one unspayed female cat can be responsible for about 500,000 births in seven years as their litters grow and breed, it is not hard to see why the overpopulation of dogs and cats continues to be such a huge problem. For every one human born, there are 15 dogs and 45 cats born, according to some estimates. There are not enough homes available for all these animals.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, spaying and neutering every dog and cat is the only way to overcome the problem. Larger shelters and more adoptions just will not solve the problem. We helped create the overpopulation crisis and we must now take responsibility to solve it.
The best time to spay female dogs and cats is before their first heat. It is not true that they should have at least one litter.
Behavior is only positively affected by the sterilization surgery. A neutered male cat’s territorial spraying is decreased. And spayed or neutered dogs and cats fight less and wander less.
The medical benefits to dogs and cats are numerous; in fact, there really are no negatives to spaying and neutering.
Since 1993, we have helped pay for about 21,000 spay and neuter surgeries for residents of Danville and Pittsylvania County, and we do so through the generosity of The E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust.
We have funds available to help residents of Danville and Pittsylvania County who cannot afford the surgery. We encourage you to have the surgery done before your animals become pregnant.