Want A Healthier Pet? Spay Or Neuter

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For pet owners in the Rim country, there are responsibilities that cannot be taken lightly.

Feral cats and stray dogs are a common sight in and around Payson. For the most part, these animals are the product of abandonment to the streets.

They forage for what food they can find, and many starve to death or become victims of automobile traffic.

These domestic animals reproduce and start the cycle of survival over again for their offspring.

Spaying or neutering a pet is the most responsible thing pet owners can do to break this cycle.

Spaying or neutering also can help ensure its health and safety.

The neutering of a male decreases its desire to roam the neighborhood, thus keeping it out of your neighbors' yard should their female come into heat. This also makes for better neighbor relations.

A male who "senses" a female in heat can also become the victim of, or cause a traffic incident. Many family pets are killed in their quest to conquer the females in the neighborhood and can fall temporarily in love from a mile away. Their attempt to search her out can lead to disaster as they blindly cross busy streets. Spaying a female has a lot of the same benefits as neutering.

Adversely if you choose not to alter your pet's attitude toward the opposite sex, you may be faced with unwanted offspring.

Many people choose to dump them or stand out in front of one of the local grocery stores and peddle them to anyone who will take them. In many cases, the once cuddly-snuggly puppy or kitten becomes unwanted, and the cycle begins again.

The Payson Humane Society took in 1,013 dogs and cats during a seven-month period from July 2001 through January 2002. Some were reclaimed by their owners. However, 270 were euthanized while 620 were adopted. Every pet that was adopted was spayed or neutered.

Patti Blackmore, a local veterinarian, frequently performs surgery on cats and dogs which ends their reproduction cycle. The surgery takes less than an hour and is done on an outpatient basis your pet checks in and out of the clinic in a matter of hours.

Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term for "spaying" the female pet. It is a surgical procedure which removes both the ovaries and the uterus. The procedure decreases the chances of your female pet developing breast tumors, cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life.

Neutering a male pet provides significant advantages to the pet owner, as well as eliminating the ability to produce unwanted offspring while decreasing the risk of prostate cancer.

Both procedures are performed under a general anesthesia. The pet sleeps painlessly through the entire surgical procedure.

The facts are simple: pets that are spayed, neutered and vaccinated will lead healthier lives.

According the American Humane Association, between 12 and 20 million cats and dogs are put to sleep in shelters each year. Thousands are put to sleep by veterinarians; millions more die in the wild from exposure and starvation.

The Arizona Humane Society will have its mobile surgical unit in Payson April 23, 24 and 25 at the Bashas' parking lot. Workers will offer spaying and neutering as well as rabies shots at a reduced rate. Animals will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are a pet owner and have not spayed or neutered your pet, you can help make Payson a better and safer place by scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian.

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