Spay/Neuter Awareness Month & World Spay Day
While spay/neuter awareness month takes place in February and is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United Sates, Humane Society International and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, World Spay Day, the last Tuesday of February, doubles down on the efforts of the month. The goal of the February and the last Tuesday, is to spread the word on affordable, accessible spay/neuter services that can save animals lives and decrease overpopulation. Originally created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995 as Spay Day USA, World Spay Day has grown to be internationally recognized in almost 70 countries. This year is the 23rd World Spay Day.
According to WhenToSpay.org, the statistics of how many litters dogs and cats can have is an eye-opener. Dogs can conceive two litters a year, with an average of 6-10 puppies in a litter, while cats can have three liters a year with an average of 4-6 kittens. 79% of owners may also be confused as to when to get their pets fixed once they have purchased or adopted a pet. The answer is 4 months of age, since cats go into heat at 4 months and dogs can go into heat at 5 months. If owners do not understand that pets can go into heat and get pregnant in such a short amount of time, they may certainly be shocked and unprepared to handle the situation if it should arise.
In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that there are 6-8 million animals entering humane societies. Barely half of these animals are adopted while sadly, others, who would have also made wonderful companions, are euthanized. To keep from growing numbers, the only permanent, 100 percent effective method of keeping animals from mating is spaying/neutering.
A pet can also have an increased life expectancy when they are fixed, reducing the chances of them suffering from certain types of cancers, as well as behavior issues.
Want to help pass on the importance of spaying/neutering a pet? Luckily, there are many ways to get involved. Promote spay/neuter programs on social media pages like Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #worldspayday. Locate a local humane society director at humanesociety.org/statedirectors and check to see if there is a plan in the works for a legislator to pass a resolution in the state of residence to declare the last Tuesday in February World Spay Day. Or, visit humanesociety.org to sponsor a spay neuter surgery. The only way to help is to get involved so don’t wait until World Spay Day to take action!