World Spay Day, which takes place in Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, is an opportunity to celebrate, recognize and spread awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering dogs. Unlike humans, dogs reproduce in large litters, usually around 6 - 8 pups per litter. Unfortunately, this can lead to an overpopulation of pups that will never be able to get the care and attention they deserve.
How Long has Spay / Neuter Awareness Month been Celebrated?
The Doris Day Animal League, an animal advocacy group from Washington DC, started World Spay Day in 1994 as part of their efforts to reduce the population of dogs and cats that were being euthanized each year.
World Spay Day is celebrated on the last Tuesday in February. Thanks to the Doris Day Animal League, awareness of this issue grew and eventually led to Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, which was officially recognized by the State of California in 2012.
The History of Spaying and Neutering
Spaying and neutering wasn’t widely available until the 1930s when many cats and dogs started to become household pets. By 1969, discussion began about the benefits of having pets spayed or neutered, and shelters worked hard to change the public perception of the procedure.
By 1972, the ASPCA strongly recommended that every adopted dog or cat be spayed or neutered. Today, the population of dogs and cats has decreased significantly compared to people. This means more dogs are being adopted as pets, and cared for in loving homes, than ever before. However, the need for spaying and neutering remains.
Why Spaying and Neutering is Still Important
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month is recognized in the month of February to encourage pet owners to spay/neuter their animals before the spring and summer months when litters are at their highest. Over 70,000 puppies are born each day in the U.S. which is more than the amount of humans born each day.
There are still too many puppies being born that can’t get the care they need and end up in shelters, on the streets or worse. In addition, dogs that are spayed/neutered tend to live longer than dogs that are not. Bottom line: it is still extremely important to have your pup spayed or neutered.
How You Can Help Raise Awareness of Spaying / Neutering
You can help raise awareness by posting on social media about Spay/Neuter Awareness Month (February) and World Spay Day (the last Tuesday in February).
Debunking Common Myths about Spaying and Neutering
- Myth: My pet’s behavior will change drastically
- Fact: This is true! But it’s for the better. Males will be less aggressive and females won’t howl and cry in heat.
- Myth: Spaying and Neutering is painful or dangerous for my pet
- Fact: The procedure is non-invasive and your pet will be back to his or her playful self within a week.
- Myth: My pet will get fat, lazy and unattractive
- Fact: Diet and exercise are the key to keeping your pet in shape and healthy!