MYTH: My pet will get fat and lazy.
FACT: The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and do not give them enough exercise.
MYTH: "It is better to have one litter first."
FACT: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. Check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures.
MYTH: "But my pet is a purebred."
FACT: So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs and cats – mixed breed and purebred.
MYTH: I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
FACT: Don't confuse your emotional needs and relationships with your pet's instinctive hormonal responses. Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet's personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
MYTH: My children should experience the miracle of life.
FACT: But will they? Even if children are able to see a pet give birth (which is unlikely, since it usually occurs at night and in seclusion) the lesson they will really learn is that animals can be created and discarded as it suits adults. Explain to children that preventing the birth of some pets can save the lives of others.
MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.
FACT: Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural tendency to "defend his own turf". And, he'll be less likely to wander off.
MYTH: But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.
FACT: A dog or cat may be a great pet, but that doesn't mean her offspring will be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can't guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owner's chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet's (and her mate's) worst characteristics.
MYTH: Only females need to be fixed.
FACT: But how do those females get pregnant? A male pet can easily father 750 offspring in his lifetime. And if he gets into the neighbor's yard and mates with the wrong pet, her owner could sue.
MYTH: It's too expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.
FACT: They're cheaper in the long run than caring for the litters! Financial assistance is available from the Mobile SPCA. License fees for spayed or neutered pets are cheaper. The one-time cost of surgery is much cheaper than treating abscesses, wounds from accidents and bites, cancer, uterine diseases and male genital problems.
MYTH: I'll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.
FACT: You may find homes for all of your pet's litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.
You may be surprised to learn that most of your pet's offspring do, eventually, end up at an animal shelter. In 2010 close to 10,000 dogs and cats were euthanized at Mobile shelters because there were no homes for them.