PO Box 2334 
Gastonia, NC 28053-2334 
(704) 824-8990 

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Stamp out pet overpopulation!

Over 9000 dogs and cats are killed every year in Gaston County because there are too many being born and not enough responsible homes for all of them.  We ask you to join us in fighting pet overpopulation  and spread the message that spay/neuter saves lives!

To help prevent unwanted litters, the Gaston Humane Society  offers spay/neuter assistance to Gaston County residents.  The discount coupons that are available are as follows:

$30 off for male cat
$40 off for female cat
$40 off for male and female dogs.  

These coupons are offered once per lifetime and for those individuals or families with incomes of 40K or less.   Call 704-824-8990 for further details and application or to request a form.  


Good for you!
Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of serious health problems that can be difficult or expensive to treat. 
Spaying and neutering can make pets better companions. 
Neutering cats makes them less likely to spray and mark their territory with pungent urine. 
Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year in dogs and an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats. Female cats in heat can cry incessantly, and female dogs and cats in heat may appear nervous and may attract unwanted males. 
Neutering can make pets less likely to roam, run away, or get into fights. 
Unsterilized animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those that have been spayed or neutered. 
Neutering may make dogs less likely to bite. 

Good for your pet!
Spaying and neutering helps cats and dogs live longer, healthier lives. 
Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, especially when your pet is spayed before her first heat. 
Spaying can prevent various reproductive tract disorders 
Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of benign prostate disease. 

Good for your community!
An estimated 8-10 million animals are taken to shelters each year 
An estimated 4-6 million animals are euthanized in shelters each year 
The stray/feral cat population is estimated to be in the tens of millions 
Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals. 
Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals. 
Stray pets and homeless animals may get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs. 

What is spaying?

A female is spayed by surgically removing her ovaries and uterus. The surgery is technically referred to as ovariohysterectomy.

What is neutering?

Although "neutering" can apply to the sterilization surgery on both male and female animals, it is generally used to refer to the surgery on male animals, in contrast with spaying of females. A male is neutered by surgically removing his testicles. The surgery is technically referred to as orchiectomy.


Don't these operations hurt?

Spaying and neutering are the most common surgeries performed on animals. Spaying and neutering operations are performed painlessly while your pet is under general anesthesia. After the surgery there may be some discomfort, but this is part of the normal healing process.

Veterinarians will make pain relief medication available to the animals after their surgery as needed. Depending on the pet's age, size, and health, he or she will stay at the veterinarian's office for a few hours to a few days. Your pet will usually resume normal behavior in a couple of days.

Won't my pet get fat and lazy if I neuter or spay him or her?

Removing the ovaries or testicles may affect metabolism. This appears to make many neutered pets put on weight more easily, but ONLY IF they are permitted to overeat. The diet of every dog and cat should be carefully regulated to prevent excess weight.

Most pets get fat and lazy because they are fed them too much and don't get enough exercise.

Will it change my pet's intelligence or disposition? 

Only for the better. The operation has no effect on intelligence. And most neutered pets tend to be more gentle and affectionate. They become less interested in other animals and spend more time with the family. 


But I want my dog to be a guard dog!

Most pets will be more reliable and responsible after neutering and are often easier to train because of stabilized hormones. What makes a dog a good guard dog is training, not hormones.

Isn't it better to let my female have one litter first?

Medical evidence suggests that the opposite is true. In fact, evidence shows that females spayed before their first estrus or "heat" period (which occurs around 5-6 months of age) tend to be healthier.


So when should I spay or neuter my pet?

Generally as early as possible. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age with no ill effects. If you didn't know about spaying or neutering your pet before first heat, don't worry - your older pet can still be sterilized.

Please don't delay. A significant number of responsible people who DID plan to spay or neuter their pets have ended up with unwanted and accidental litters because they delayed the surgery, and did not properly confine their pet.

Please talk to your veterinarian about your pet's individual needs.

But my pet is a purebred, why shouldn't I breed him or her?

Each year in America, millions of animals wait in animal shelters hoping to find a new and loving family. Approximately 25% of these homeless pets are purebred.

Responsible breeding requires a large commitment of time and money. Unless you intend to breed your pet for a responsible purpose, can guarantee lifelong good homes for the whole litter, and are willing to educate yourself fully and can commit and afford the time and money necessary, your pet should be spayed or neutered.


But if I find good homes for all the kittens or puppies, won't it be o.k.?

You may find homes for all of your pet's litter. But then again, you may not, and those kittens or puppies may end up in a shelter. 

Please don't let your pet contribute to the problem when there are already so many homeless animals in shelters hoping for loving new homes.

What do breeders say?

Ethical pet registries such as the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers' Association, and responsible breeders all support the spaying and neutering of pets. With the only exception being for educated and responsible breeders who breed for the betterment of the breed and who are willing to take full moral and financial responsiblity for the litters born.

Who performs the surgery?

Spay/Neuter is only performed by licensed veterinarians. Veterinarians go to accredited college of veterinary medicine for four years to obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. They must be licensed by the state in which they practice medicine.

How much does it cost to have my pet spayed or neutered?

Like food, toys, vaccinations and check-ups (and of course lots of love and attention!), spay/neuter should be factored in as a part of your pets total care.

Professional fees for spaying and neutering reflect the surgical procedures involved. The actual fee varies from one area to another, depending largely on the cost of maintaining a veterinary hospital in a particular community. The size, age, sex and health of your pet will also affect the cost of the operation. 


I don't think I can afford to spay/neuter my pet.

You cannot afford not to! First of all, call your veterinarian to find out what the actual cost for your pet's surgery will be. Many people are surprised by how affordable it is.

Certainly it should be a high priority when developing your pet care and household budget.

Remember too, that surgical neutering is a one-time cost. It's a life-time investment in your pet that can solve a number of problems for you, your pet, and your society already burdened with too many dogs and cats.

In fact, it will most likely save you money in the long run. The cost of boarding your pet during just one or two "heat" periods, for example, probably would pay for an ovariohysterectomy. 

It's a bargain compared to the cost of having a litter -- wanted or unwanted -- and ensuring the health of the mother and litter. Two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to high food costs and significant veterinary bills if complications develop.

And you may well be sharing those costs with a neighbor if your male accidentally impregnates their female!

Even if your pet never has a litter, she could develop "female disorders" that would require surgery similar to or even more serious than spaying. 

As you can see, it's a very small price to pay for the health of your pet, the behavioral benefits to you, and the prevention of the birth of more unwanted pets.

Many veterinarians, and animal welfare organizations are willing to work with people who need financial assistance and would not otherwise be able to spay/neuter their pet.


Are there alternatives? 

Not a good one. At present, the only other way to prevent mating is to keep your pet absolutely confined during its fertile periods - this of course does not provide any of the health or behavioral benefits mentioned above. This also requires a tremendous amount of diligence on your part.

Given the numbers of accidental litters born, clearly this option isn't easy, reliable or recommended.

Male animals can mate any time they are not confined, once they become sexually mature (5-6 months).

Females become pregnant during their estrus or "heat" periods. These cycles usually occur twice a year in dogs, and at least two or three times a year in cats. Many cats "come into heat" as often as once every 2 or 3 weeks during certain months. Especially in warm climates.

Even the most responsible among us cannot guarantee that our animals will not escape their confinement. Furthermore, even a leashed "potty break" can result in a male escaping, or a female attracting an unwanted male. Even if you are careful, you cannot guarantee that others will be as diligent with their pets!

Confinement is a tremendous responsibility and also does nothing to eliminate health and behavioral problems such as spotting and spraying, or susceptibility to uterine infection and mammary cancer. Nor does it stop male dogs from humping legs or furniture.

At present, the only sure way to keep your pet from mating is to have it surgically sterilized.


Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

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