Hello, I’m Deanna Sauceda, the incoming executive director here at Spay Neuter Network. As you may have heard, our founder and former executive director, Bonnie Hill is retiring. I am so excited and honored to carry on the work of Spay Neuter Network.

Spay/neuter as the only real solution for a no-kill world for our dogs and cats. Just take a look at the math; there are 6 to 8 million dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters every year and about half or 2.7 million of those animals are euthanized. Adoption and fostering is making a difference, but the most effective and exponential way to reduce euthanasia is to prevent the birth of dogs and cats.

Spaying and neutering literally saves millions of dogs and cats each day. During the life of one female dog, she and her puppies can result in 20-40-thousand dogs! For cats, one female cat and her offspring can theoretically produce 420-thousand cats in seven years. So, you can see why it’s important to spay and neuter early, but there are other reasons as well, your dear pet may live longer!

“There are many health benefits to spaying or neutering your dog or cat early and we call this pediatric spay/neuter,” said Dr. Jennifer Lavender, Spay Neuter Network medical director. “As animals get older, reproductive organs get larger; have more blood supply and more nerves. It is actually easier on your pet to have surgery at an early age. It’s faster, perioperative complication rate is lower and even the healing time is shorter than in adult animals.”

Another health risk for intact female dogs is pyometra, according to Lavender. Pyometra is a hormonal abnormality that can be accompanied by a bacterial infection in female dogs following their heat cycle. It can be life threatening. Other benefits of pediatric spay/neuter include male dogs and cats not wandering or escaping to search out mates and potentially being hit by cars, shot, injured or taken to a shelter. Pediatric neutering also reduces aggression and marking by male dogs and cats. Overall, spaying and neutering reduces the risk of various cancers like testicular, mammary and ovarian.”

I speak to our dog and cat parents every day here at the clinic in Crandall and I always ask if they are going to get their puppy or kitten spayed or neutered. Some pet parents worry that their pet is too young for this procedure, but spaying and neutering is safe and easy for kittens and puppies as young as eight to 10 weeks old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Many times people say another vet told them the animal should go through a heat cycle for females or the males won’t gain size and muscle mass if they are fixed early.

During the month of June, Spay Neuter Network, with funding provided by PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, is running a fantastic campaign called “Precious, Not Parents.” Through the “Precious, Not Parents,” campaign, Spay Neuter Network offers $20 spay and neuter surgeries for puppies and kittens under six months of age through June 30th. We’ve had hundreds of pet parents respond and we have a few slots open and you can call to make an appointment.

PetSmart Charities’ “Precious, Not Parents” campaign provides more than $705,541 to spay/neuter clinics to fund affordable, high-quality spay and neuter surgeries for more than 13,935 puppies and kittens across the nation during the month of June. That’s saving a lot of lives…I’ll let you do the math.