Pet owners rethink their position to spay and neuter

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A puppy waits to be neutered.

Despite the barrage of messages to the public from animal welfare groups and celebrities about the benefits of pet health due to pet spaying and neutering, there are still holdouts.

Until recently, William O of Elgin, Illinois was one of them. “I used to think that spaying/neutering pets was inhumane, but my position has changed because of the practical import in having such procedures done,” said O, a lawyer who is starting an animal law practice.

In addition to the problem of pet overpopulation (6-8 million pets wait for homes in shelters annually and at least half that number are euthanized each year), O sees another side of pet neutering and spaying– a lawyer’s point of view: housing, pet behavior issues, and noise complaints between tenants, landlords, and neighbors.

“For the most part, nuisance/noise complaints are caused by female outdoor pets in heat and their noisy, persistent suitors. Many of these problems could be avoided by spaying/neutering pets,” said O.

Another pet owner recently changed her mind about spaying a neutering.

Rasheda Williams of Detroit got her first cat this year, a kitten named Domingo. She didn’t want to put her kitten through any unnecessary pain, be it cat neutering or declawing. But when her friend, who owned multiple cats, told her she should have Domingo neutered, Williams began to wonder if she was in the minority.

“I went around asking pet owners and all of them agreed. I was so focused on my cat’s rights being violated that I didn’t see the big picture,” said Williams. “Once they explained to me the preventative benefits of the procedure, I changed my mind.” Domingo was neutered six months ago, is happy and healthy, and still has his claws.

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Spay and neuter clinics abound, and many pet insurance providers even cover the procedure. Getting pets fixed is easier today than ever before.

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