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Compassion First's mandate is simple:
We help those who can't help themselves. We investigate animal neglect and cruelty cases all across Northeast Mississippi. From dogs and cats, to horses and ferrets, we're serious about what we do. You can help.

The Truth about Spaying or Neutering Your Pets 

First, the terminology: 

Spaying – the procedure used to remove the reproductive organs of a female animal.

Neutering – the procedure used to sterilize a male animal.

We receive calls daily from individuals who want us to pick up dogs or puppies, cats or kittens, that have been abandoned or dumped on their property. By the time these poor animals are dumped, they are often sick, infected with mange, or suffering from other maladies. Many of these are beyond the point of saving, and sadly, have to be put to sleep. All this suffering could have been avoided by simply spaying or neutering. 

At Compassion First, we understand that some people have negative impressions, even fears, about spaying or neutering their pets. Through education, we hope to alleviate these concerns, which are almost always unfounded. It's true that spaying and neutering makes our job easier, but that's certainly not the primary reason behind our support. We support it because it's the only practical way to reduce the number of unwanted animals.

Let's examine some of more common reasons given for not spaying or neutering... 

“We want her to have one litter, it will settle her down and make her a better pet.” Fact: Having a litter will not improve her health or personality, but can easily cause her medical problems down the road. Spaying a female before her first heat cycle can virtually eliminate the possibility of breast tumors, ovarian cysts, and many common and serious diseases such as pyometra and cancer. 

“I want my children to be able to see the miracle of birth.” While this may sound like a noble, heartwarming idea, in most cases the female will do her best to give birth alone. But even if the children do witness the birth, what then?  Cute and cuddly puppies and kittens don’t stay small for long, and a staggering percentage are abandoned as soon as they grow out of the cute-and-cuddly stage. Finding good, responsible homes is tough. And if you are successful in placing some or all of the babies, if the new owners hold on to this same desire for their children to witness birth, the cycle continues. Mathematical reality is that there are too many animals and too few homes. There are literally millions of animals in shelters all over the United States waiting for a home. Many of these animals will run out of time and ultimately be put to sleep. So you see, for every animal produced, some animal already born will probably die.

 “I don’t want to neuter my male, I wouldn’t want it done to me.” This is where a healthy dose of common sense perspective should come into play. We're talking about a dog or cat, not a man. A man can make his own decisions about birth control. An animal cannot. They will follow their natural instincts and breed as often as possible. And a neutered male can actually make a better family pet. They are less likely to roam, thus reducing the risk of fights, injury, or aggravation to neighbors. Neutering shortly after the testicles drop is best. Early neutering, before hormone production accelerates, virtually eliminates a male’s need to mark his territory and the need to mount everything in site. Older animals can also benefit from neutering, which may reduce or even eliminate the risk of enlarged prostate glands, prostate cancer and testicular tumors.

 If I spay my females, then I don’t have to neuter my males.” This is a wrong way of thinking. The old saying, “it takes two to tango”, certainly applies here. While spaying your females is responsible, failure to neuter your males is still a lack of responsibility. A male pet can easily father hundreds of offspring in his lifetime, thus continuing the cycle. 

“Spaying or neutering makes your pet fat and lazy.” This is simply an “old wives' tale" without foundation. While it’s true that pets sometimes gain weight after being altered, it's because spayed or neutered pets require fewer calories. By simply reducing their food intake or feeding them a lower calorie food, and making time for walks or playtime, your pet will be able to maintain their pre-spay or neuter weight. Your pet will be healthier. (And the extra exercise won’t hurt you, either!)

 “Spaying and neutering is just too expensive.” Not true! Spaying or neutering is much cheaper in the long run than taking care of puppies or kittens, whether wanted or unwanted. Many local veterinarians participate in a low cost spay or neuter program in conjunction with the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society. A spay or neuter certificate can be purchased from the shelter at a cost of $5.00. This certificate will garner you a substantial discount with the veterinarian, and the $5.00 charged for the certificate will help take care of the animals already in the shelter. It’s a win/win for everybody!

There are also two other local organizations offering low cost spay or neuter. Spay, Inc, of Tupelo, MS, and Wags, Inc, of Amory, MS. We will soon offer a link to both these organizations, along with a list of local veterinarians who participate in the discount program and their fees.

We hope you'll enjoy and make good use of our new site. Check in regularly to stay abreast of new developments as we continue to help those who can't help themselves.
 
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