WHY WE EUTHANIZE
Angelina County has a population of just
over 86,000 people. City of Lufkin Animal Control and Kurth Memorial Animal
Shelter receives 7,000 to 8,000 animals annually. This does not include
animals that are turned in to other shelters, rescue groups or humane
societies. More than half of the animals turned in are unwanted puppies and
There simply are not enough homes
available for the number of animals turned in. Many people ask why not let
the animals go, or build more kennels and cages instead of euthanize.
Animals that are homeless are at risk. Many animals that are loose are
starving, diseased, attacked by other animals, hit by vehicles, and suffer
painful deaths. The problem with building more kennels and cages is that
the shelter would need an additional 5,000 pens every year, more staff, more
budget money, and would still only adopt and send the same number of animals
to rescue per year . Since 2003, more than 50,000 animals have been
euthanized. That is more than the city’s human population. How would we
shelter and care for those 50,000 animals and still increase that number by
5,000 each year?
The problem is obvious, there is a
serious pet overpopulation in our community. Why? Because thousands of
unwanted puppies and kittens are being born every year, adding to the
current pet overpopulation. Solutions are simple, but difficult to get
people to do. What is the solution? Spaying and neutering pets is the
number one way to reduce the pet overpopulation. Spaying and neutering has
a direct impact on shelters by reducing future litters surrendered. Dogs
and cats can have litters at least twice a year until they are 12-15 years
old. That adds up to a lot of babies. Spaying and neutering ensures they
will not continue to add to the pet overpopulation problem. Contact the
shelter to find out about local low cost or free spay/neuter services
offered in our area. There are many other great benefits to spaying and
neutering, and many misconceptions:
It's better to have one litter before spaying a female pet.
Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, females spayed before
their first heat are typically healthier. Spaying prevents uterine cancer
and infections and reduces the chances of breast cancer. Neutering prevents
testicular cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate time for
spaying and neutering.
I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.
The miracle of birth is quickly overshadowed by the thousands of animals
euthanized in animal shelters in communities all across the country. Take
your children to a local animal shelter to teach them about pet
overpopulation. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your
children about birth in a more responsible way.
But my pet is a purebred.
So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around
the country. Even purebreds get euthanized in shelters. Every day,
purebreds are giving birth to puppies and they or their offspring end up at
a shelter only to face possible euthanasia. Every puppy or kitten born and
sold into a home takes away a home for a homeless animal.
I want my dog to be protective or to hunt.
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.
We have spayed and neutered hunting dogs that went on to beat champion
hunting dogs that were not spayed or neutered, so their hunting instincts
are not affected.
I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not
change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional
reaction or identity crisis when neutered. Neutering can make training
sessions easier, giving males more focus.
My pet will get fat and lazy.
The truth is that 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.
But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.
Your pet's puppies or kittens have an unlikely chance of being a carbon copy
of your pet. Even professional breeders cannot make this guarantee. Shelter
pets waiting for homes who are just as cute, smart, sweet, and loving as
your own, and so many will be euthanized because people are buying or
breeding instead of adopting.
It's expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.
Many low-cost options exist
for spay/neuter services. Contact the
shelter to find out about spay/neuter programs available.
I'll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.
You may find homes for your pet's puppies and kittens. But you can only
control what decisions you make with your own pet, not the decisions other
people make with theirs. Your pet’s puppies and kittens, or their puppies or
kittens, could end up in an animal shelter, and face euthanasia.
Your spayed female won't go into heat.
While cycles can vary, female cats 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! Female dogs go into heat for two weeks twice a year, attracting many
male dogs who may fight or be aggressive.
Your 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 making like Houdini to escape from the
house. And once he's free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights
with other males.
Your 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. Neutered males are less likely to bite.
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
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 packs a powerful punch in reducing the
number of animals on the streets.
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.