Every pet owner knows that there are enormous responsibilities that go along with having a cat or dog. You must feed and exercise your pet, to keep it physically healthy; you must play with it, and keep it emotionally healthy too. You have to keep it safe from cars, people, or other animals, and you ought to protect other people, property, or pets from your own animal. There’s another responsibility that not all pet owners think about, however: spaying or neutering, or “fixing.” What does “fixing” you pet mean? Simply put, it means taking your pet to the vet for a quick, cheap surgery that will prevent your pet from ever becoming a mother or father. This surgery solves problems that pet owners know about, and some that they might not have considered before. In fact, I believe that all pet owners should be required to have their pets fixed.
Everybody loves a cute new puppy or kitten. But those cute babies soon get bigger, and right now, there simply aren’t enough homes for them all. Some unwanted animals go to shelters, or “dog pounds.” These shelters are like prisons for animals, but with one important difference: many of the prisoners will never get out. Shelters have limited funds and limited space, and they cannot keep all the animals they collect. If a cat or dog is not adopted within a certain time period, that animal is killed. On the other hand, not all unwanted animals go to a shelter. What happens to a homeless animal left out on the street? Remember, our pets are exactly that – pets. They aren’t wild animals. They cannot find fresh water or hunt their own food (especially in a city). They cannot understand traffic laws, so they often get struck by cars. They are susceptible to common illnesses – illnesses that they can then spread to other animals, including pets. They are not tame, so they may attack other animals or people. In either case, the life of most unwanted animals is not long, but it is full of misery and pain, and it’s also a life that’s dangerous to pets (or people) who they meet. By not “fixing” your own animal, you will almost certainly be adding to this problem.
Another thing to consider is the health of your pet itself. Animals, especially pets who eat processed foods just like we do, are prone to the same illnesses as we are, like heart disease and cancer. An animal who has been spayed or neutered is at less risk from certain kinds of cancer. Furthermore, animals who are not fixed can sometimes go crazy trying to find