February is National Spay & Neuter Awareness Month

Animal control officials weigh in on spay and neuter month
Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 7:49 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) -February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month.

Deciding to spay or neuter your pet can be the best thing you do for both your pet and your community.

“We’re just really wanting people to know the benefits of spay and neutering your pets. There are benefits beyond the pets’ overpopulation problem here in the parish. We want to express and promote the benefits of that surgery, and they far outweigh the risk of that surgery,” said Staci Chaote, the spay-neuter director for Paws of NELA.

According to animal control officials, spaying and neutering your pets is the easiest thing that can be done to save cats and dogs from the suffering and death caused by overpopulation.

“Paws of NELA, in our last 17 years, has spayed and neutered over 15,000 pets, which equates to over one million animals never being born to end up on the street,” said Choate proudly.

Spaying and neutering keeps stray pet populations down, which means fewer homeless pets in animal shelters

According to PETA, close to six million dogs and cats end up in animal shelters all across the country at some point in their life. About half of them are euthanized because there aren’t adopted.

“Here in Ouachita Parish, we have a huge pet overpopulation of dogs and cats. You can go to any animal shelter, and they are always full,” added Choate.

The surgery also provides important health benefits.

Longer life expectancy, lower rates of certain cancers, and fewer behavioral issues are all the pros of spay and neutering your pets.

“If you spay your pet before their first heat cycle, you 100 percent eliminate the chance of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and cervical cancer in your females. And it’s prostate and testicular cancer that you eliminate in your males,” explained Choate.

Officials say spaying and neutering pets has not always been a priority in the community.

However, as of recent years, animal control officers have seen more and more pet owners take responsibility.

“Spaying and neutering in our experience have just recently in the past 10 or 15 years has been highlighted that all the benefits the shelter and pet benefits and people now finally realize that it’s a benefit not only to themselves but their pets as well,” Choate said.

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