In just the last year, Kitty City, Inc. has helped spay and neuter over 850 cats and kittens and provided financial contributions, veterinary and rescue support to numerous dogs and other animals. In addition, we provided assistance to enable pet owners to keep over 45 of their beloved pets due to circumstances beyond their control and prevented them from being surrendered to local shelters through our companionship programs.
By some estimates, a pair of cats can produce up to 400,000 kittens in just seven years. An average cat has between four and eight kittens per litter and two to three litters per year. Because of their survival skills, a stray female cat can produce up to 100 kittens in their lifetime and go undetected by many who see them regularly.
Thousands of unwanted cats are born each year. Some are left to wander — easy prey for larger animals, easy targets for automobiles, and easy marks for cruelty. If they do survive, they soon attain maturity and bring forth five or six kittens, mostly females, to continue this vicious cycle.
- Nearly eight million animals enter shelters in the U.S. every year, and over five million animals are euthanized every year – approximately 60% of dogs and 70% of cats in shelters
- 90% of animals entering U.S. shelters are healthy and adoptable
- 70% of people who acquire animals give them away, abandon them, or take them to shelters. This includes those
- 20% of animals surrendered to an animal shelter were originally adopted from an animal shelter
- 35% animals surrendered to shelters are due to an owner’s death with no arrangements for their pets. Many of these are also released outside without being spayed or neutered and help populate the homeless animal community
- Less than 10% of animals turned into shelters as lost are found by their owners
- Many animals in a shelter face some type of abuse that grows from devastating circumstances, as reported by local media
- Less than 10% of animals received by animal shelters have been spayed or neutered
- Young animals going to a shelter become sick due to stressed immune systems and exposure to the high number of airborne illnesses
- Local rescues then spend millions of dollars to nurse animals back to health, spay or neuter and re-socialize them. The average cost for raising a litter of puppies or kittens is $1,500
- Spaying an animal eliminates their heat cycle and the undesirable elements such as bleeding, crying, and nervous behaviors that result in owner surrenders
- Spayed or neutered pets no longer driven by hormonal urges are typically better behaved, calmer, and more affectionate than those that are not altered
- Male animals are less likely to mark their territory by spraying and less likely to run away in an attempt to find a female
Statistics are from various sources, including, but not limited to: PetSmart Charities, Humane Society of the United States, The ASPCA®, Save Our Strays, Pet Savers Foundation, Spay USA, National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy—Shelter Statistics Survey, The State of the American Pet—A Study Among Pet Owners, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, American Humane Association.
Many benefits result from spaying or neutering
Spaying your female dog or cat prevents mammary tumors as well as uterine and ovarian cancers. In females, the risk of breast cancer and urinary infections is drastically reduced. A female’s life is at risk every time she comes in heat or is pregnant. Spaying a dog before her first heat protects her almost totally from mammary tumors, which afflict most unspayed females. She is also protected from pyometra, a life-threatening uterine infection, as well as mastitis (inflammation of the breast), ovarian cysts, miscarriage, or complications in delivery.
Spaying or neutering removes the discomfort, distress, and distraction of heat cycles, which are stressful for both sexes.
Reproductive cancers are common among older dogs that have been bred. Sterilization helps to increase an animal’s chance of a longer, healthier life.
Altered pets also have much lower risks of high-cost medical issues later in life, including perianal tumors.
Cats are less prone than dogs to breast tumors, but when they occur, they are nearly always malignant. Spaying prevents them. Many older intact male dogs suffer from enlarged prostates, a painful condition. Neutered dogs and cats have no risk of testicular cancer.
In a survey taken by the American Animal Hospital Association, 57% of pets owners preferred the company of their pet to that of another human if they were stranded on an island. While we may think of our pets as trusted members of our family, these four-legged (or two-winged or gilled) companions serve another purpose. Pets not only provide companionship, but offer some a new lease on life. What are some of the therapeutic benefits pets and animals provide?
Pets make us feel safe, accepted, and happy. Their devotion and unconditional love boosts our mental and physical health. During times of crisis or major stress, such as unemployment or prolonged illness, pets are an anchor or stable force that helps us cope. For senior citizens, a pet supplies companionship and affection, but also security and protection. Older adults who are pet owners are likely to be more alert, require fewer trips to the doctor, and are less likely to suffer from depression and loneliness.
From the Mayo Clinic HealthOasis.
Lower Blood Pressure
Pet owners tend to be more physically active and have lower cholesterol than non-pet owners. An article in the American Journal of Cardiology points out that pet owners who had suffered a heart attack had a better survival rate than non-pet owners. In a study conducted by Dr. Karen Allen of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, stockbrokers who were given a pet reduced by half the increase in blood pressure from stress. Although the researchers were pleased with the results, they weren’t surprised. The results supported what they already knew: It is beneficial to be with a pet in times of stress. Results of the study appeared in various media and publications:
- SUNY Buffalo
- American Heart Association
The Biology Gateways Human Circulatory System activities on Blood Pressure and Circulation and Effect of Exercise introduce how the circulatory system works.
Animal-Assisted Activities or Therapy
According to the Delta Society, an organization dedicated to promoting the beneficial relationships between animals and people, animal-assisted activities involve pets visiting people for the purpose of motivational or recreational purposes, such as bringing animals to visit nursing homes. Therapeutic goals may or may not be set for the activity. Animal-assisted therapy on the other hand is goal oriented and is designed to meet criteria as part of an overall treatment program.
The benefits of both activity and therapy:
- promotes empathy and nurturing skills
- encourages socialization and communication
- provides physical and emotional contact in a non-threatening way
Between People and Pets: The Importance of Animal Companionship by Alan Beck
And the Animals Will Teach You: Discovering Ourselves Through Our Relationships With Animals by Margot Lasher
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