Fact vs Ficton

+ Spaying or neutering my pet will make them fat.

Overfeeding and lack of exercise make pets fat. Your pet is no more or less likely to be overweight following spay or neuter surgery than they were before.

+ Females need to have at least one litter / one heat cycle first in order to be healthy.

Pregnancy and birth are a risky business with no benefits to the mother cat or dog. Your pet is actually less likely to develop mammary or uterine cancer if she is spayed before her first heat cycle. Kittens may become pregnant as early as at just four months of age, and puppies as early as six months. Younger pets also tend to "bounce back" from their procedure more quickly.

+ As long as all of my pets of one sex are spayed or neutered, there's no need to fix the others.

Never underestimate the lengths to which a hormonally-motivated dog or cat will go in order to find a mate. The scent of a female in heat may carry for a mile or more, tempting Fido to escape and roam, thus facing dangers such as dodging traffic or fighting with other animals, and attracting unwanted would-be suitors to Fluffy.

+ My kids will learn about "the miracle of birth".

Your local library has plenty of excellent free resources to help teach children of all ages about "the facts of life." And when your lesson is finished, you can simply drop your borrowed materials into the library's depository slot for the next patron to borrow. Puppies and kittens just don't work that way!

+ I can't take away my male pet's manhood!

Your male cat or dog has no concept of manhood and doesn’t think about sex and sexuality in the same way that human beings do. They simply do what their hormones motivate them to do. Neutering your male pet will not cause him to suffer an identity crisis, nor will it change his basic personality.

+ If Fluffy becomes pregnant, I’ll find homes for all of her babies.

Having a pet can be expensive. Do you know at least 40 responsible adults willing to spend $500-$1000 or more per year for the duration of an animal’s life in order to provide for one of Fluffy’s babies?

Your fertile female pet can easily produce one to two litters every year, with an average litter size of four to six for both cats and dogs. Even if your pet produces only one litter of four offspring every year from the time she's born until she is 10 years old, you could still end up needing stable, loving homes for 40 or more of Fluffy's puppies or kittens throughout her lifetime. And, there’s no way to guarantee that Fluffy’s offspring won’t have babies when they get older, further contributing to the problem.

+ Fido is such a fantastic dog – I really want him to have puppies!

There's no guarantee that any of Fido's puppies will turn out anything like him. If you've ever gotten to know cats or dogs from the same litter over time, you've probably noticed that each one has a unique personality, completely different from the others. They can't all be “just like” their mother or father, but they do all need homes.

+ I can't have my dog "fixed" if I want them to be a good hunting/retrieving/ watch dog.

Your dog's hunting and retrieving abilities and their instinct to protect their home and family are in their head, not their reproductive organs. Temperament is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.

+ My pet is purebred; they don’t end up in animal shelters.

One in four animals that enter shelters are purebred. Even purebred dogs and cats regularly find themselves among the 50% of shelter pets euthanized due to overpopulation.

+ It’s unhealthy or unethical to spay or neuter when my pet is young.

Spaying and neutering is safe for young animals. There is no veterinary research that suggests spaying or neutering pets before six months of age interferes with healthy development. Spay Baton Rouge accepts healthy patients as young as two months old, as long as they weigh at least two pounds.