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Spay & Neuter


 I.  Why you must spay and neuter your pets

 1.  To prevent pet overpopulation and the resultant euthanasia of millions of unwanted animals 

 Between 3 and 6 million homeless animals are euthanized in this country each year.  In fact, euthanasia of healthy animals is the biggest cause of death for domestic animals.  Most of these animals could have been loving, adoptable companion animals for someone.  Sadly, they are killed because there are not enough homes for all of the unwanted animals.

 The reason for this pet overpopulation is simple.  There are too many animals born. 

 The answer to this problem is simple – at least in theory.  All dogs and cats (and other companion animals that are being euthanized because of overpopulation) should be spayed or neutered.  Doing so is part of being a responsible pet owner – and part of being a caring, humane person and a good citizen.

 Even if you think that you can find good homes for the offspring of your pet, you can never guarantee that those offspring will not breed and that all subsequent generations of animals will be able to find homes.  Furthermore, when someone adopts one of the offspring of your pet, that means that person is not adopting a homeless animal from a shelter or rescue group.

 Even purebreds should be spayed and neutered.  Estimates are that 15 – 20% of the animals in shelters are purebreds.  There is no reason that even a purebred animal should not be spayed/neutered.

 Maybe you think that by allowing your pet to have offspring you will be able to have a carbon copy of your pet.  The truth is that you can never predict the personalities of the offspring.  Why not go to your local shelter or rescue group and find a loving animal who has just the personality traits that you are looking for – and in the process save a life?

 If you think that your children should “experience the miracle of birth” or that they will enjoy seeing the young babies grow, please think again.  The bigger lesson that you need to teach your children is what it is to be a responsible pet guardian, which includes spaying and neutering.  Please do not teach your children that it is OK to let their pet have a litter, knowing that this will mean that more homeless animals will be killed in the shelter down the street.  Teach them that preventing animal births can save lives.

 2.  To prevent serious and sometimes deadly health problems for your pet

 Spaying and neutering prevent serious health problems.  Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer.  It also greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, especially if it is done before the first estrous cycle.  Health problems and death related to pregnancy are, obviously, eliminated.  Neutering eliminates the chance of testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate cancer.

 3.  To prevent many behavioral problems in companion animals

 Unaltered animals will want to stray and roam looking for a mate.  This can put them at risk for all of the dangers faced by cats and dogs outside, i.e. being hit by a car, contracting a deadly infectious disease, poisoning by chemicals, being attacked by predators or even dogs, abuse by humans and getting lost or being stolen.  A companion animal that does not feel the urge to roam, will form a stronger and more loving relationship with his human. 

 Females that have been spayed and, most especially, males that have been neutered are significantly less likely to spray urine to mark their territory. 

 Spaying and neutering can make pets less likely to bite.

 Animals who are not sterilized often exhibit more temperament problems than those who have been sterilized.

 4.  To reduce health care costs and licensing fees               

Spaying and neutering can by done for very little money.  However, no matter what the cost, it will be less expensive than paying for health problems that can occur from not having your animal spayed and neutered.  Also, most animal control agencies offer reduced licensing rates for animals that are spayed or neutered.


II.  What is involved with spaying and neutering

Female dogs and cats are spayed by removing their ovaries and uterus, similar to what is involved when a human female has a total hysterectomy.  Males are neutered by removing their testicles.  These procedures are done under general anesthesia and are quite safe.  Pets typically go home a few hours after the procedure.  Your veterinarian can describe the procedures in detail and discuss the many benefits and rare risks.

Contrary to myth, having your pet spayed and neutered will not necessarily cause him to gain weight.  Keeping your pet active and watching what he eats are the best ways to keep your pet at a healthy weight. 

Also, having your little buddy spayed or neutered will not change his/her personality, except that it may prevent the development of several behavioral problems as noted above.


III.  When should you spay and neuter your pets

Spaying and neutering are best performed before your pet goes through his/her first heat cycle.  Spaying a female cat before her first estrous cycle decreases her chance of developing breast cancer.  Neutering a male before his first heat decreases his risk of prostate-related problems. 

Many veterinarians are now doing early-age spaying and neutering at 8-12 weeks of age.  As long as the puppy or kitten is healthy and weighs at least 2 pounds, he/she can easily be sterilized.  Young animals recover much more quickly than older animals.  The American Veterinary Medical Association supports early spay and neuter.

Studies have shown that animals who are not spayed/neutered before they are adopted into their new homes have an increased chance of producing offspring, thereby contributing to the pet overpopulation problem and the resultant euthanasia of millions of unwanted animals.

Even if your pet is older, remember that it is never too late to have your pet spayed/neutered.  She/he will always be able to enjoy the many benefits of the procedure.


IV.  Where you can have your pets spayed and neutered

Your regular veterinarian can spay and neuter your animal. 

If you do not have a veterinarian you can find one by; (1) checking the yellow pages of your phone directory, (2) calling your local humane society or animal shelter or (3) asking friends and family.

If you do not have the financial capability to afford to spay/neuter your animal please do not let this stop you.  There are many places in Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland and across the country that offer low cost spay and neuter. 

In addition, many shelters and humane societies will provide financial assistance.  If you receive any type of public assistance and would like to have your pet spayed or neutered and cannot afford it, you may contact Little Buddies for financial assistance.

For low cost spays and neuters you may contact any of the following: 

(Please note that even though organizations are listed by state, some may do spays and neuters on animals from surrounding states also.)

Virginia Area

Spay, Inc.

(703) 522-7920 from 9 AM until 5 PM to speak with a representative

 www.spay.org for more information

(703) 521-2677 (FAX)

Spay, Inc will refer you to a veterinarian who can do a low cost spay/neuter.


Alexandria Animal Welfare League

(703) 838-4775


You will receive a certificate which will be honored by one of their participating veterinarians.


Arlington Animal Welfare League

(703) 931-9241


You will receive a certificate that will be honored by a participating veterinarian.


Dominion Animal Hospital

(703) 437-6900

They offer a spay/neuter clinic weekly.  Call for details.



Maryland Area

 Animal Welfare Society/Howard County


8556 Davis Rd; Columbia, MD

They have a veterinarian on the premises who can do spays and neuters.


Humane Society of Baltimore County
(410) 833-8848 or (410) 833-4480

1601 Nicodemus Road; Reisterstown, MD   21136


They have a clinic for spaying and neutering.


Maryland SPCA

(410) 235-8826

3300 Falls Rd; Baltimore, MD   21211

They have a mobile “Neuter Scooter”.  In addition, they can give certificates for low cost spays and neuters at participating veterinarians.


Montgomery County Animal Shelter

(240) 773-5960

They will give you a certificate to a participating veterinarian.  You must be a Montgomery County resident to qualify.


Montgomery County SPCA

(301) 948-4266

They will give you a certificate for a participating veterinarian in the Maryland, Virginia or Washington D.C. area.


Prince Georges SPCA Spay and Neuter Clinic

(301) 324-0807

8210 D’Arcy Road; Forestville, MD

This clinic will do spays and neuters.


SPCA Humane Society of Prince Georges County

(301) 262-5625

You can choose from a list or their participating veterinarians


SNAP (Spay and Neuter All Pets)

(302) 838-6996 or (410) 885-5783

They will give you a certificate to one of their participating veterinarians.


Turkey Foot Veterinary Clinic

(301) 921-8382

14426 Turkey Foot Road

North Potomac, MD   20878

They also do feral cat spays and neuters first and third Sundays of the month.


The Well Pet Clinic

(301) 866-0303

They do spays and neuters on site.


Washington, DC Area


SNAP (Spay and Neuter All Pets)

(302) 838-6996 or (410) 885-5783

They will give you a certificate to one of their participating veterinarians.


Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL)

(202) 726-2273

The WARL has their own clinic on the premises.  It is the Animal Medical Center.  The offer low cost spays and neuters to low income individuals.


National Referral Network


Spay/USA is a nationwide network and referral service for affordable spay/neuter services.

1-800-248-SPAY   (1-800-248-7729)




Copyright © [2003]  [Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society].