In Carroll and Montgomery Counties, stray dogs and cats are a serious problem, and local leaders are working to find ways to decrease the overpopulation problem.
Several have sought assistance from municipalities and counties because stray animals can be an annoyance in the community. However, according to Winona’s animal control officer, the best way to help control the stray population is by spaying and neutering your pets. However, some people have their reservations with the method.
Arlin Pearson, Animal Control Officer for the City of Winona, has 10 reasons why pets should be spayed and neutered. He debunks rumors of spaying and neutering causing weight gain, and he gives reasons why it’s actually beneficial to the health of a pet while controlling the pet overpopulation.
• Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
Spaying helps prevent urinary infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
• Neutering provides major health benefits for your male.
Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
• Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season.
• Your male dog won’t roam away from home.
An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate. That includes digging his way under the fence and escaping from the house.
• Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
• Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds- not spaying and neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
• It is highly cost-effective
The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray.
• Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
• Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children- especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
• Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying and neutering.
Staff reports contributed to this story.