Pet Overpopulation Is A Serious Problem



There are 45 cats and 15 dogs for every one person born. Only one out of every 10 dogs ever finds a permanent home. Only one out of every 12 cats finds a permanent home. Seven million dogs and cats are destroyed each year in the United States because there are not enough homes. (These statistics are taken from Petco Foundation, which provides funding for spay and neuter surgeries).

People have very strong feelings one way or the other about neutering dogs and cats. Some feel it is unfair, unkind and unnatural.

Here are the facts: Surgically-altered pets tend to live longer. Spayed females do not suffer from uterine or ovarian cancer. Neutering males drastically reduces the chance of prostate difficulties. Neutered pets are more loving and better tempered. Neutered cats are less likely to mark or spray their territory. Spayed females do not experience messy heat cycles. Neutered pets are less likely to bite, and neutered males are less likely to run away or fight.

The Payson Humane Society has been running a special on kittens, $25, which will run through the end of August. Even though quite a few are adopted, many more are euthanized. Everyone who has an un-neutered animal that is allowed to run loose should have to inject the fatal dose into one of these kittens or puppies. It is heartbreaking. Many of the kittens and most all of the feral kittens brought into the humane society are euthanized.

Not only are there way too many kittens and cats, but the chances of spreading diseases is greatly increased with this excessive cat population, as happened last year and all the cats and kittens had to be euthanized.

At this time of year, there are litters of feral kittens everywhere. Some people are good enough to capture them and their parents and have them neutered. This can be a huge expense. Otherwise, it does not take long for a kitten to be old enough to reproduce. It is hard to even imagine the number of kittens resulting from one unaltered male and female and their offspring. The abundance of feral cats is ever increasing because of excessive cat dumping. People move and just leave the cat behind to fend for itself. This is true for dogs as well, but dogs are less able to survive on their own, so most of them get hit by cars or starve to death.

While all veterinarians neuter cats and dogs, the prices charged vary greatly.

There is a mobile spay and neuter clinic that comes to Payson a couple of times a year and is very cheap. Notice of this schedule is always in the Payson Roundup or check with the Payson Humane Society. Unfortunately, cost is not primarily the reason people do not neuter their pets. But if it is, one should call their vet or the humane society to find out if special arrangements can be made. If your pets are neutered and you feel you can help others, contact your veterinarian and offer to pay some or all of the costs for someone who cannot.

Pet overpopulation is a very serious problem. Spaying or neutering is not unkind or unfair. It is the proper thing to do.

Pet Fair coming soon

The 2nd annual Pet Fair will be at the PAWS dog park in Rumsey Park Saturday, Oct. 4. We are looking for vendors with pet-related products and crafters with unique products that have wide appeal. There is no charge for booth space.

The dog park is across from the new Payson library.

Call 476-2239 for more information, or contact me at the address below.

Christy Wrather is a columnist for the Payson Roundup. She can be reached by e-mail at, or by snail-mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.

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