Spaying or neutering refers to a surgical procedure to render a dog or cat unable to produce litters of puppies or kittens. In addition to halting reproduction, other health benefits include the prevention of certain types of cancers and behavioral problems that include roaming, fighting for the attention of a mate and “marking” territory.
Spaying refers to an operation in which both ovaries and generally the uterus are removed from the female animal. This operation is normally done through a small incision in the abdomen or the flank. The ovaries produce most of the hormones which make the pet, “come into heat,” and attract male animals, so the spayed female will no longer have estrus cycles or attract males to the home. Neutering the male animal refers to removing both testicles from the scrotum through a small incision.
Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics
Spay Neuter Network
Spay Neuter Network is a nonprofit clinic with a mission to ensure every pet owner has access to spay/neuter services and preventive care for their pets. Spay Neuter Networks clinics are staffed by licensed, trained veterinarians and veterinary technicians, but is not full-service veterinary provider.
Texas Coalition for Animal Protection
The Texas Coalition for Animal Protection is a recognized nonprofit, 501c3 organization that provides compassionate solutions to pet overpopulation and community animal welfare. TCAP accomplishes this goal by making affordable, high quality preventative services available to Texas pet owners.
Even though an action may be good for the community, people have a natural tendency to ask what benefits they will receive. Here are some benefits you and your animal can expect when you have your dog and cat spayed or neutered:
Better health -A dog or cat that is spayed or neutered has no chance of developing uterine or testicular cancer; in females, the risk of breast cancer and urinary infections is drastically reduced. Reproductive cancers are common among older dogs that have been bred.
Better behavior - Male animals that are neutered when young are much less likely to roam, mark their territory (and your belongings) with urine, and show aggression toward other males. Intact (unneutered) males will go to great lengths to get to a female in heat—they will dig their way out of yards, break fences and leashes, and cross streets in heavy traffic if a female in heat is in the area. Female cats in heat will be more affectionate and more vocal. They will roll around on the ground and rub up against you incessantly. Other than behavioral changes, the most noticeable symptom may be male cats hanging around your house.
No accidental pregnancies - If your animal accidentally becomes pregnant, you will have to provide additional medical care—for her and the babies—and be responsible for finding good homes for half a dozen or more offspring.
We do not provide sterilization services. Texas Coalition of Animal Protection (TCAP) and Spay Neuter Network offer low cost sterilization services and use the Prairie Paws Adoption Center as a pick-up/drop-off site.
Some people don’t want to spay or neuter their animal because they have heard about some bad “side effects” of the surgery, or because they have picked up some mistaken ideas along the way. There are a number of myths about spaying and neutering. Here are a few of the most common, and the truth about each.
Altering makes an animal fat - Spaying or neutering at the youngest possible age—before the animal has reached sexual maturity—generally has no affect whatsoever on weight. Animals that undergo the surgery after reaching sexual maturity may show an increased appetite because altering affects hormone balance. However, the animals who are fat are usually fat because they are fed too much and/or do not get enough exercise.
Altering makes a dog and cat lazy - Neutering reduces a male animal’s desire to roam (often over long distances) to find female animals in heat, and altering can somewhat reduce the animal’s energy level. Altering does not make your dog or cat lazy. Altered animals are as playful and energetic as your unaltered pets.
Altering changes the animal’s personality - The only personality changes that result from spaying or neutering are the positive changes described above—no roaming, less tendency to mark territory, and less aggression. Aside from these changes, your animal will be no less like himself than humans are after undergoing vasectomy or oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).
My pet has a right to experience sex - Sex, for an animal, is nothing more than the result of a powerful instinctive drive to reproduce. People who worry about this issue are usually over-identifying with their animal. This is an excuse often presented by men, who cringe at the very idea of castration—even though it is a painless surgical procedure being performed on their animal, not on them.
It's a good thing for our children to see the miracle of birth - Bringing more puppies and kittens into a world already overburdened with thousands of homeless animals is not the best way to show your children the birth process. You can show them videos or even let them witness live human births on the internet. You might also want to consider that if you allow your dog or cat to have puppies or kittens so that your children can observe the miracle of birth, you should also take your children to an animal shelter, so they can observe the sad results—the thousands of animals that are euthanized every day because no one will give them a home.
When people have babies, they usually have only one baby at a time. When dogs and cats have babies, they usually have more than one at a time!
By age five, a female dog and her female offspring can produce 192 puppies (assuming two females per litter and two litters per year). And this doesn't include all of the offspring produced by her male puppies.
Humans simply do not produce at these outrageous rates. Nor does every human born want a puppy. This adds up to a great deal of unwanted puppies and dogs in our community.
It's easy to produce 80 million cats
Just allow two cats and their surviving offspring to breed for 10 years. In that time, you'll produce 80,399,780 cats (this assumes two litters per year and 2.8 surviving kittens per litter).
First year: 12
Second year: 66
Third year: 382
Fourth year: 2,201
Fifth year: 12,680
Sixth year: 73,041
Seventh year: 420,715
Eighth year: 2,423,316
Ninth year: 13,968,290
Tenth year: 80,399,780