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Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Services



Surgically sterilizing companion animals for people at low-cost or no cost is one of the components of the No Kill Equation. Research has shown that cost is one of the largest barriers that prevents people from getting their pets spayed or neutered. Therefore, providing these services can increase the number of sterilized pets, and reduce the number of animals entering shelters in the future, making it easier to sustain a community's no kill status. There has, however, been a down side to the way many animal advocates have thought about spay/neuter services.


Because many shelters incorrectly assigned blame for high rates of "euthanasia" on "overpopulation" many advocates have obsessively focused on spay/neuter services as the one and only tool for ending killing in shelters. As a result, other needed shelter reforms have been ignored, and needless killing has resulted. More troubling is the fact that some some advocates have been so obsessed with spay/neuter services that they have gone so far as to press for mandatory spay/neuter laws, which can actually cause more killing in shelters.


What many shelters experience as "pet overpopulation" is, in fact, shelter overpopulation. More animals are coming into the shelter than are leaving alive. Shelter overpopulation results from a wide range of problems at the shelter, including shelters taking in animals that do not need rescue, and placing too many obstacles in the way of people getting them out alive. Mandatory spay/neuter laws do both of those things - they provide another reason for animals to be impounded and they make it more difficult for people to reclaim their pets. Needless killing of animals at the shelter increases.


So, yes, yes, yes, advocate for and promote spaying and neutering, while making it available at low or no cost. But, don't try to shove it down peoples' throats with a draconian law.


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