My Meridian Star Pet Column: Spay/Neuter

February 22, 2011

By Ashley Owen Hill

MERIDIAN — If you’ve ever met me, you’ve probably heard me say, “PLEASE SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS!” The obvious reason for my rant is the fact that spaying and neutering our companion animals is essential to controlling the pet population, because millions of pets are euthanized in American shelters every year. The problem here is that there are simply more dogs and cats in the world than there are homes who can care for them. And sadly, the shelter animals pay the price for irresponsible breeding. This is the #1 reason you should spay/neuter your pets—you will save lives. And look at that… you didn’t even have to go to medical school.

    However, there are other methods to my spay/neuter madness.

    Spayed and neutered pets live longer, healthier lives, by reducing or eliminating the risk of many potential health problems. How so? Spaying your female pet will eliminate her chances of uterine or ovarian cancer, and greatly reduce her risk of breast cancer. Neutering your male pet will eliminate his risk of testicular cancer and reduce his chances of prostate disease.

    Another important point is that altered pets are less likely to roam in search of a mate. When these animals run the streets looking for a one night stand, they risk being injured or killed. Or your pets may never find their way back home. In addition, when breeding with another animal, your pet can contract diseases from the exchange of bodily fluids during mating.

    Spaying and neutering will also have a positive impact on your relationship with your pet. Many behavioral problems are associated with the hormone cycles of these animals, so eliminating the cycle will improve many of these issues. For males, neutering can reduce the desire for spraying and inappropriate mounting. (Yes, I said it, and we all know it happens.) For females, elimination of the heat cycle will reduce the female’s discomfort during her cycle, as well as reduce her unwanted popularity with the males. Another important note, altered pets are less likely to bite humans, which is always a plus in my book.

Lastly, even if you care nothing about animals (if so, by the way, you are totally reading the wrong column), you probably care about money, right? Every year, millions of tax payer dollars are spent trapping, housing, euthanizing, and disposing of homeless dogs and cats in our shelters. Reducing the number of pets by spaying and neutering will reduce the amount of tax dollars used for the overpopulation problem. It’s just that simple.

    While vet care is expensive, there are many low-cost spay/neuter programs available, such as Tailwaggers for Life in East Mississippi. For more information, call Tailwaggers at (601) 509-1411.

    Spayed and neutered animals tend to be happier, healthier pets. When you spay or neuter your pet, you are making the right decision for your pet’s health, your relationship with your pet, and the community as a whole. Most importantly, you are saving lives. And say goodbye to that socially inappropriate mounting.
   Ashley Owen Hill is the owner of Lucky Dog Retreat, 8659 Hillview Dr, Meridian. Email her at  Ashley@luckydogretreatmeridian.com. Follow her blog at http://www.luckydogrescueblog.blogspot.com.

Link to my article on Meridian Star website: http://meridianstar.com/columns/x1709528314/Nothing-s-cuter-than-spay-neuter


  1. learned a lot by reading this post...lots I didn't know! thank you! :)

  2. I found out the earliest and healthiest time to get Marleigh fixed and it was when she was 6 months old. While I hated to see her in a little bit of pain afterward, it would be nothing like having to watch her give birth and then figure out what I would do with all the babies. It truly was the best decision for her! Great column!


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