The BC SPCA is urging pet guardians and all animal lovers to do their part to help end the tragedy of pet overpopulation in British Columbia. The non-profit animal welfare society is highlighting the benefits of spaying and neutering for pets during Spay/Neuter Awareness Month in February.
“The terrible reality is that there are still many more animals born in our province every year than there are homes for,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA. “The SPCA and other rescue groups find homes for thousands of these abandoned or surrendered animals every year, but we know that there are so many more who suffer and die after being abandoned by their guardians. It is heartbreaking because this is a completely preventable problem.”
She notes that in 2011 the BC SPCA’s 37 branches took in more than 32,000 abandoned, neglected, injured and abused animals.
“We find that with many pet guardians it is attitude, rather than cost, that prevents them from having their animals sterilized,” says Chortyk. “They love their pets, but they don’t realize that by not having them spayed or neutered they may be impacting their pet’s quality of life and the bond they could be sharing.”
Neutering generally reduces aggressive behaviours in pets. Neutered dogs are calmer and less likely to bite, attack or get into altercations at the dog park. Neutered cats don’t have the drive to mark and protect their territory Spaying or neutering is also the perfect time to get an identification tattoo or microchip. In BC SPCA shelters, only 11 percent of cats are returned to their guardians from an animal shelter mainly because they lack identification compared to a return rate for dogs of 65 percent.