World Spay Day History and Importance

Good for Pets & the People Who Love Them

World Spay Day KittenToday marks the 22nd anniversary of World Spay Day. Originally created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995 it became a program of the Humane Society of the United States when they combined operations in 2006. World Spay Day is the first and only international day of action to promote spaying and neutering of pets.

If you don’t have a pet you might be wondering why you should care about spay and neuter. Here are a few factors to consider:
  • All of us are affected by animal overpopulation
  • Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to shelter and care for stray, abandoned and unwanted pets (the ARL is privately funded and does not receive any of those tax dollars)
  • Property damaged and livestock killed when pets roam
There are numerous reasons to spay/neuter your pet. Here are just a few of the most important ones:
  • Curb pet overpopulation and make your pet healthier
  • Reduce the number of homeless pets euthanized - In the U.S. estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year
  • Neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs
  • Spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs
  • Increased longevity of altered pets involves the reduced risk of certain type of cancers including uterine cancer and cancers of reproductive tract
  • Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer (decreases the chance by over 98%) and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer
  • Reduce unruly behavior
  • It is good for the community

If you’re concerned about the cost of of spay/neuter surgery, low-cost options are available in most areas. The ARL established the Spay Waggin’ in 2000, in recognition that basic veterinary services, including spay/neuter, were financially out of reach for many pet owners who wanted to do the responsible thing, but could not afford to. Keep in mind that the cost associated with providing adequate care for just one litter of puppies or kittens is often more than the cost of spaying or neutering