Reproduction facts about dogs and cats:
- 3 to 4 Million of adoptable animals are euthanized in animal shelters each year simply because they do not have homes. (These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.)
- Spaying and neutering dramatically reduces the number of stray animals on the streets.
- The term “spay” refers to a female and "neuter" refers to a male. Pets should be spayed or neutered at young ages, around 6 months for a male and before a female’s first heat.
- Spaying and neutering can help reduce the incidence of some of the most common types of cancers so your animal is likely to live a longer and healthier life.
- Spay/neuter surgeries can only be performed by licensed veterinarians.
- The cost of spaying and neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for one year.
- Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering.
- Many unneutered pets have aggression problems and often mark their territory with strong-scented urine, which can make the household unbearable. Early neutering can nix aggression.
- In six years, one un-spayed female dog and her un-spayed offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs.
- One un-spayed female cat and one un-neutered male cat and their offspring can result in 420,000 kittens in 7 years.
- A female cat can have 29 litters in 10 years.
- A male cat can sire as many as 2,500 kittens in a single year, and a male dog can sire almost as many puppies.
- Only 1 in 9 cats and dogs born in the US will find homes.
Source: ASPCA, PETA, The Anti-Cruelty Society
Note: 165,125 cats and dogs were in animal shelters in the State of Virginia in 2013. 46,718 of them were euthanized and 2,856 died in the facility.