Dog Spaying and Neutering – Another Good Reason to Get Your Dog “Fixed”

Dog neutering and spaying are now now considered “mandatory” by most pet owners, but your local dog pound is still filled with unwanted dogs. That seems to prove that some people don’t get around to taking their pets to the vet for this crucial procedure.

Some people don’t choose to have their dog “fixed” before it breeds because the dog is male, and they don’t usually have the responsibility of finding homes for the puppies that he fathers on their neighbor’s unspayed bitch.

But why would someone choose to go through the bother of having a dog that isn’t spayed, and that goes into heat at least twice a year? Perhaps it’s because the owners have found that the puppies are easy to find homes for, either because it’s a popular breed, or because the puppies will become small dogs, which are always in demand.

The owners may even be able to sell their puppies to people who appear to have good, loving homes for the pups. So why not?

Because, even if the pups are easy to sell or give away, it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll live out their lives with the people who took the cute, cuddly creatures home with them. If the new owners run into problems, the puppy is very likely to end up at the local animals shelter, although the people who allowed their dog to breed will never know about it.

Here’s what happened to a litter of pups that I helped to find homes for:

A friend asked me to put a notice up on the bulletin board where I work, announcing that five free Border collie/chocolate lab puppies were available.

At the moment, these two breeds are popular, and within a week all the puppies were living with one of my fellow employees.

And within six months after that, I learned that three out of the five had ended up in the local animal shelter.

None of these folks contacted the person who actually gave them the puppies prior to giving them to the Humane Society, so she found out (through me) only after it was too late to do anything about it.

One puppy was given up because a veterinary check found it was suffering from epilepsy, an illness that would become expensive and could be emotionally devastating to the owners. They didn’t feel they could properly care for a puppy with such a serious health problem, and it’s unlikely that the Humane Society was able to find a new owner who was willing to take on the expense.

Another puppy was taken to the pound because the owners weren’t prepared for a typical Labrador problem – the puppy chewed up everything it could find when it was left alone. Again, both adults worked outside the home for long hours, and the puppy had ten hours every day to remove the stuffing from the couch, take the arms off teddy bears, and gnaw on chair legs.

When it was locked in the utility room it managed to find a loose edge in the vinyl flooring, which caused considerable expense. When left outside in the fenced yard it howled, whined, and dug up the flower beds. After several months and hundreds of dollars in damages, the puppy went to the pound.

And the third puppy was given up because an older dog in the house didn’t like the competition. As the puppy got older, the owners were seriously concerned that one of the dogs would be injured in a fight. Since they felt one of them had to go, and they knew and loved the older dog more, the pup ended up in a cage at the pound. Of the three, this one had the greatest chance of finding a new home.

I don’t blame any of these folks for not keeping the puppies, but it was unfortunate that the “cute” had grown out of the pups before they were taken to the Humane Society for a second try at adoption.

And the original owner took every care to find good homes for the puppies in the first place. She couldn’t foresee any of these problems, and did her best to screen the people who came to look at the litter.

Unfortunately, most people never know what happens when they give away a dog or puppy, so the consequences of not spaying or neutering their dog is never fully understood. They believe that if they give a puppy to a good home, he’ll be happy and content with his new owners. In many cases, however, this doesn’t turn out to be true. The animal shelters are full of dogs who once had a home, but the owners, for a variety of reasons, simply couldn’t keep them.

The moral of the story? You already know that, of course. Make an appointment with your veterinarian for a spaying or neutering operation, if you haven’t done so already. You and your dog will both be happier, and the local pound will have fewer unlucky pups to try to find homes for.

You’ll learn more about dog spaying and neutering, read articles that help you choose the right dog for adoption, and find a complete directory of local Humane Societies and animal shelters, at

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