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The Progress Home >> Monday, February 11, 2013 - Animal council celebrates awareness month

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Animal council celebrates awareness month
Monday, February 11, 2013
February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 4 million cats and dogs - about one every eight seconds - are put down in U.S. animal shelters each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets.
Spay/neuter is a proven way to reduce pet overpopulation, ensuring that every pet has a family to love them. Many cats and dogs that die as a result of pet overpopulation could have made wonderful pets. A solution is possible and starts with each person taking one small step: getting pets spayed or neutered.
Many people want to have their pets spayed or neutered, but they hesitate because of the cost. They think it won't be possible, but it absolutely is. Low-cost spaying and neutering is available in this area at the Allegheny Spay & Neuter Clinic at its new location, 1380 Shawville Highway, Woodland. The clinic is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is open for referrals from animal rescue groups as well as the general public for the low-cost spaying and neutering of cats and dogs. Other services offered include Frontline Flea & Tick medication, micro-chip lost animal protection, Clearfield County dog license, rabies vaccines, lyme and distemper vaccines and many others.
Spaying and neutering pets has many benefits. Whether you've recently adopted a pet or are considering it, one of the most important health decisions to make is to spay or neuter your cat or dog. Spaying- removing the ovaries and uterus of a female pet - is a veterinary procedure that offers lifelong health benefits. Neutering - removing the testicles of a male dog or cat - will vastly improve your pet's behavior and keep him close to home.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the following are the top 10 reasons to spay or neuter a pet:
• Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying a pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
• Neutering provides major health benefits for the male. Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering prevents testicular cancer, if done before 6 months of age.
• The spayed female won't go into heat. While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they'll yowl and urinate more frequently - sometimes all over the house.
• A male dog won't want to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate. That includes digging his way under the fence and other attempts to escape from the house. Once he's free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
• The neutered male will be much better behaved. Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
• Spaying or neutering will not make the pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds - not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
• It is highly cost-effective. The cost of your pet's spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray.
• Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community. Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering reduces the number of animals on the streets.
• Your pet doesn't need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth. Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children - especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters.
There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
• Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation. Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
To help stop pet overpopulation further, consider adopting your next pet from an animal shelter.
Free dog and cat food is also available at the clinic to individuals in need. The donated food is distributed through local food banks. The Animal Welfare Council makes the dog and cat food available to support individuals in this difficult economy and to support pet owners trying to make ends meet while taking good care of their pets.
The Allegheny Spay & Neuter Clinic is operated by the AWC, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization formed in 2006 by a group of individuals who share concern and passion for animals in the community and strive to fulfill the needs of local animals and their owners.
For more information about the Allegheny Spay & Neuter Clinic, contact the clinic at 857-5280, for free pet food or the AWC, call 857-5282.
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