World Spay Day
Spread the message that spaying and neutering saves lives!
World Spay Day is an international day of action to promote the sterilization of pets, community cats and street dogs as a way to save animals’ lives. It takes place each year on the last Tuesday of February.
Created as Spay Day USA by the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) in 1995, World Spay Day is now a program of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Society International (HSI) and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA).
In 1995, the estimated euthanasia rate in overcrowded shelters was between 14 and 17 million dogs and cats each year. While there is still much work to be done, we’re happy to report that currently the estimated number of dogs and cats euthanized in U.S. shelters has dropped to 2.7 million annually.
In every community, in every state, there are homeless animals. In the U.S., there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted. Tragically, the rest are euthanized. These are healthy, sweet pets who would have made great companions.
A USA Today (May 7, 2013) article cites that pets who live in the states with the highest rates of spaying/neutering also live the longest. According to the report, neutered male dogs live 18% longer than unneutered male dogs and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs.
Spaying and Neutering curbs bad behavior:
- Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking (lifting their leg) than neutered dogs. Although it is most often associated with male dogs, females may do it, too. Spaying or neutering your dog should reduce urine-marking and may stop it altogether.
- For cats, the urge to spray is extremely strong in an intact cat, and the simplest solution is to get yours neutered or spayed by 4 months of age before there’s even a problem. Neutering solves 90 percent of all marking issues, even in cats that have been doing it for a while. It can also minimize howling, the urge to roam, and fighting with other males.
- Roaming, especially when females are “in heat.”
- Aggression: Studies also show that most dog bites involve dogs who are unaltered.
- Excessive barking, mounting, and other dominance-related behaviors.
While getting your pets spayed/neutered can help curb undesirable behaviors, it will not change their fundamental personality, like their protective instinct.
Here are some ideas on how to help:
- Share infographics on social media. Use #WorldSpayDay for promoting an event.
- Set up a table at a popular location and distribute literature on the importance of spaying and neutering to control pet and street animal populations.
- Organize a visit to a school or a youth or community group to speak about what pets need to be healthy and happy.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper advocating spaying and neutering to pet owners and government officials.
- Raise money to subsidize the cost of spays and neuters performed during or after World Spay Day. Raffles, bake sales, benefit concerts and shelter open houses are just a few examples of fundraising events that some organizers have found to be successful.
- As an individual, you can participate by sponsoring a pet’s spay/neuter surgery. Contact your local shelter to make a donation, or sponsor a spay/neuter surgery for a pet in need.