When you spay or neuter your dog, you give shelter pets a greater chance at life and stop the cycle that’s killing thousands of innocent dogs. The ASPCA estimates that between six and nine million pets will be put to death in shelters this year. You might think this is a result of dogs being born on the streets or that have something “wrong” with them, but often they are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds.

 Puppies are born in America every day with no place to go. There isn’t enough room for all of the pets that crowd our nation’s shelters. Just one litter can mean 13 dogs…and finding 13 responsible forever homes will result in how many shelter dogs being euthanized? As long as the current birth rate continues, there will never be enough homes for all the dogs being brought into the world.

 By spaying or neutering your dog, you can be an important part of the solution. Many states and counties have established low-cost spay/neuter programs that make the surgery affordable. And many cities also offer reduced licensing fees for owners of spayed and neutered dogs. To find a low-cost program near you, call your local humane society or shelter, or call toll-free 800-248-SPAY. You can also click here for a list of local spay/neuter programs in Middle Tennessee.

Myth vs. Fact
Myth: A female dog should have a litter before she is spayed.
Fact: The sooner you spay your female, the better her health will be in the future. As long as a puppy weighs more than 2 pounds and is 2 months old, he or she can be neutered or spayed. Many veterinarians practice perfectly safe early sterilization. The longer a female goes unspayed, the greater the likelihood of developing mammary tumors or uterine infections.

In fact, a female spayed before her first heat (6 to 9 months of age) has one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer as an intact female.

Myth: Spaying or neutering (sterilization) will alter my dog’s personality.
Fact: Any slight changes will be positive. Regardless of the age when spayed or neutered, your dog will remain a caring, loving and protective companion. Neutering will reduce the need to breed, and that has a calming effect on many animals. Neutered male dogs tend to stop roaming and fighting, and they also lose the desire to mark their territory with urine.

 Myth: Companion animals will become fat and lazy if they are neutered.
Fact: Absolutely not! Lack of exercise and overfeeding make dogs fat and lazy, not neutering. Your dog will not gain weight if you provide exercise and monitor food intake. Neutering is good for your dog since sterilized dogs tend to live an average of two to three years longer than unsterilized dogs.

 Myth: Sterilization is a dangerous and painful surgery for my dog.
Fact: Spaying and neutering are the most common surgeries performed on animals. With a minimal amount of home care, your dog will resume normal behavior in a couple of days.

 Myth: Children should witness the miracle of birth.
Fact: Countless books and videos are available to teach your children about birth in a responsible manner. Letting your dog produce offspring that you have no intention of keeping is teaching your children irresponsibility. Anyone who has seen an animal euthanized in a shelter for lack of a home knows the truth behind this dangerous myth.

 Click here to be redirected to our resource page for spay/neuter locations.