Lake Tahoe Humane Society: Facts about spaying and neutering |

Lake Tahoe Humane Society: Facts about spaying and neutering

In honor of World Spay Day (Feb. 22), I wanted to continue our month long spay/neuter theme and share some myths and facts regarding spaying or neutering your pets. I hope it will encourage you to make the correct decision and have your furry family members spayed or neutered (females get spayed and males get neutered).

MYTH: It’s better to have one litter before spaying a female pet.

FACT: Every litter counts. Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier.

MYTH: I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.

FACT: The miracle of birth is quickly overshadowed by the thousands of animals euthanized in animal shelters in communities all across the country. Teach children that all life is precious by spaying and neutering your pets.

MYTH: But my pet is a purebred.

FACT: One out of every four pets surrendered to animal shelters around the country are purebreds. There are just too many dogs and cats — mixed breed and purebred. About half of all animals entering shelters are euthanized.

MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.

FACT: It is a dog’s natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog’s personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.

MYTH: I don’t want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.

FACT: Pets don’t have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality. Your pet will not suffer from any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.

MYTH: My pet will get fat and lazy.

FACT: The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don’t give them enough exercise.

MYTH: But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.

FACT: Your pet’s puppies or kittens will have their own personalities. Just because your pet has a great disposition doesn’t guarantee their offspring will. There are shelter pets waiting for homes and they are just as cute, smart, sweet and loving as your own.

MYTH: It’s expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.

FACT: Most regions of the U.S. have at least one spay/neuter clinic within driving distance that charge $100 or less for the procedure. Here in South Lake Tahoe you can contact the Lake Tahoe Humane Society & S.P.C.A. for information on its low-cost spay/neuter program.

MYTH: I’ll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.

FACT: You may think you are finding good homes for your pet’s puppies or kittens but how do you know for sure? Using portals like Craig’s List is a common way people choose to find homes for their pet’s puppies and kittens. Some of these animals end up in very bad situations. When pets are adopted out from shelters, the applicant has to apply — this way shelter can verify that the pet is going to a good home. Shelter pets also come spayed or neutered, with their vaccinations and often a microchip. If your pet does have an accidental litter, contact your local shelter or humane society for assistance in getting them good homes.

The most important fact to know is that spaying and neutering your pets saves lives. In every community throughout the United States, there are unwanted animals sitting in shelters waiting to find forever homes. Nationwide more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters every year. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.

Hoping this was informative!

Hopeful Henry

Hopeful Henry is a column managed by Niki Congero, executive director of Lake Tahoe Humane Society & S.P.C.A. Need some pet advice? Ask Hopeful Henry. Submit questions or letters via e-mail to or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. Visit SPCA, or

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