Understanding the Issue

Why spay or neuter your pet?

Given the large number of animals euthanized in the United States every year, most humane organizations agree that spay/neuter is the only solution. Puppy mills contribute a significant number of animals, and with many of those animals going on to reproduce, the numbers do have an exponential effect. However, about 1 million puppies are produced by puppy mills every year. 6-8 million animals enter shelters every year, with 60% of them being dogs. About 4 million animals are euthanized in shelters every year, if approximately 60% of the animals are dogs, then about 2.4 million dogs are euthanized every year and about 2.8 million cats are euthanized in shelters every year. So, you can see that even with puppy mills taken out of the picture, there is still a large issue with dog overpopulation problem.

Where do these dogs all come from? Families who want their children to experience the “miracle of birth”. This directly affects another animals death somewhere. Even if they find homes for these puppies, since there aren’t enough homes, an animal dies somewhere. Irresponsible pet owners and backyard breeders also contribute greatly to the death of about 2.4 million dogs and 2.8 million cats every year.

These numbers are only for shelter animals, they don’t include animals that are abandoned and killed by cars, wild animals and starvation. It also doesn’t include the many animals born on farms and ranches that are unwanted and are either shot, drowned or disposed of by other means.

Many humane organizations, troubled by the number of animals killed in shelters, have began sponsering low cost spay/neuter clinics to help alleviate the problem. In areas where low cost clinics have been offered, the shelter intake rates as well as euthanasia rates have dropped significantly. It is our hope that one day, this practice combined with adopting out only altered animals from animal shelters will change animal shelters from places where many animals don’t make it out alive to places where companion animals wait for families to adopt them.

In six years, one female dog and her off spring can theoretically be the source of 67,000 dogs.

In seven years, one female cat and her off spring can theoretically be the source of 420,000 cats.

Spay and neuter….the ultimate rescue.


Blue Sky Foundation for Animals is a Utah Non Profit Corporation and a Federal 501(c)(3).

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