Spay/neuter saves lives

At the first NPP clinic on April 16, 2010, 8 dogs and 20 cats were spayed/neutered.

How many lives were saved?

The average female dog can produce one litter of 4-6 puppies in a year. Multiply that number by 8, and you get 40 puppies. The average female cat can have two litters of 4-6 kittens in a year. Multiply that by 20, and you get 200.[i]

In 2009, 2458 cats (including kittens) and 2572 dogs (including puppies) were sheltered at Norfolk Animal Care Center, the city of Norfolk’s municipal animal control facility. Of those cats, 1919 (an average of 56%) were euthanized humanely; for dogs the number is 983 (an average of 38%).

If only half of the potential cats and dogs not born because of the April 16 clinic ended up at the city shelter, 56 cats/kittens and 5-6 dogs/puppies would have been euthanized. The wonderful residents of Oakdale Farms, Denby Park, and Southern Shopping Center who participated in the clinic saved at least 62 lives. When you combine the average reproduction rates for cats and dogs with rates for their unaltered offspring, the lives saved by spay/neuter over a five year period is thousands! [ii]


[i] 40 and 200 are actually low estimates, as feral cats can go into heat 16 weeks after their first litter, thus increasing the number of litters they can produce. Many of the cats spayed at the clinic were feral or outdoor cats. Additionally, male cats and dogs can impregnate a high number of females in a given year, so the numbers of kittens or puppies produced could be higher.

[ii] 11,800 for cats and 12,288 for dogs; see http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/sterilization.html, http://www.secondchanceforanimals.org/spay_or_neuter.htm, http://www.humanesocietyall.com/spayneuter/ and http://www.saintfrancispetfoundation.org/services.html for more information about these estimates.

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2 thoughts on “Spay/neuter saves lives

  1. The numbers truly do speak for themselves in terms of what a difference spay/neuter makes. I think though that for many people, it is sometimes more emotionally rewarding to measure success by the faces of the dogs and cats rescued from the shelter v. measuring success by a reduced number of dogs and cats needing to be rescued in the first place. As we get more people to realize the leaps and bounds spay/neuter contributes toward lowering euthanasia levels, it will help lead to a community where spay/neuter becomes the norm . I keep thinking of the bumper sticker on a car I pass frequently: “Adoption saves a life – Spay/Neuter saves hundreds!”

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Spay/neuter saves lives « Spayhr's Blog -- Topsy.com

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