Pet Overpopulation

Pet Overpopulation

They can't read. They can't write. But they sure can multiply!

Although humane societies and shelters do everything possible to find homes for each and every animal in their care, there simply are not enough homes to go around. All over the United States, healthy, loving companion animals are put to death by the millions each year. And countless others are neglected, abused, or abandoned -- all victims of a tremendous overpopulation problem.

Every single puppy and kitten born contributes to the tragedy. Even when pet owners have "found homes" for an entire litter, each of those animals deprives a dog or cat waiting patiently in a shelter of what is likely his last chance at life. Purebreds are no exception, either. Roughly 25 percent of the animals at Michigan Humane Society shelters are purebred dogs and cats.

Consider this: A single unspayed female cat, her mate and all their offspring can produce a total of 370,092 kittens in just seven years, and the cumulative offspring of one female and one male dog can number well into the thousands in the same time period. Please - neuter your pet!

What is neutering?

Surgical sterilization is the removal of certain reproductive organs. In a female, the ovaries, oviducts and uterus are removed. The correct name for this procedure is ovariohysterectomy, commonly referred to as a spay. In a male animal, the testicles are removed in a procedure called an orchiectomy, more typically referred to as a castration.


  • Sterilized animals tend to roam less
  • Sterilized males are less likely to mark territory
  • Sterilized animals tend to be less aggressive and better socialized
  • Sterilized females will not develop uterine infections
  • Sterilized females have a greatly reduced risk of developing mammary cancer


"My pet will get fat" ... Obesity is controlled by diet and exercise and is not determined by a surgical procedure.

"My pet will get lazy" ... Exercise and play time will determine how playful your pet is. Pay attention to your pet, give him love, and he will stay a youngster for a long time to come.

"Surgery is dangerous" ... The total lifetime risks of spayed or neutered animals are actually reduced; they have a better chance of staying healthy for the rest of their lives, and female animals will avoid the risks involved in bearing young.

Sterilization Policy

If you are bringing a pet in for sterilization, you must call ahead and make an appointment at an Michigan Humane Society clinic. At the time of surgery, you must show proof of current distemper and rabies vaccinations and a negative heartworm test, or they will be done prior to surgery at an additional cost.

We suggest an exercise period just prior to bringing your pet to the clinic, giving him time to empty his bladder and bowels.

Going home

Your pet will remain under veterinary care for a short time after surgery to insure proper recovery. You may pick up your pet at the time specified by the clinic.

Your pet will have just undergone major surgery and will be recovering from general anesthesia. This can be a frightening experience. Special care must be taken to keep your pet calm and warm for at least 10 days after surgery. Please be sure your entire family understands that your pet must stay inside. This is the safest way to insure proper post-operative care.


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