It’s hard to believe that February is almost over and we failed to talk about the most important topic of all. February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month. The timing could not be better because all of the proceeds from our March 2 Wine Tasting and Fundraising Event are for the benefit of our Spay/Neuter Fund.

When my late husband was in the nursing home we used to watch The Price Is Right with Bob Barker. After seven years of hearing Barker’s catchphrase I hope never to see one snippet of that show again as long as I live.

Speaking of snip…I remember at the end of every how Bob would tell us to be sure to spay or neuter our dogs. I brushed it off because I did not have a dog.

Now that I have a dog here are a few things I’ve learned about why it’s important to fix dogs.

At NEW PAWSibilities fewer than two-percent of the dogs we rescue have been spayed or neuter. Truly, the number one way to reduce or even eliminate dog homelessness is by making sure that every dog receives this critical surgery,

Every year, millions of dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. They spread diseases to animals and humans, are not vaccinated for rabbis, prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna, and frighten children. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

There are actually many reasons beyond unplanned litters to spay or neuter all dogs.

  1. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer cases which are nearly 50 percent fatal.
  2. Neutering has shown to be effective in preventing testicular cancer.
  3. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
  4. Last, most important, is that dog adoption is not the way out of pet overpopulation. The most cost-effective and humane way begins with shelter spay/neuter programs.

The high cost of dog spaying and neutering, with the average vet cost in Northeast Wisconsin being $250.00, is the number one reason pet owners do not fix their dogs. We’ve actually heard of the costs being as high as $500.00 for large dogs! Spay/neuter programs make adoption fees more affordable, help owners keep their dogs in good health, and are the most effective way to end pet homelessness before it begins.

At NEW PAWSibilities one hundred percent of our dogs are spayed or neutered as part of the adoption process. A certificate is given to each adopter of puppies under the age of six months for neutering by our vet at six months.

We received this message from an adopter last year and it echoes so many comments from others who we have worked with over the last six-plus years.

“NEW PAWSibilities changed our lives!” writes Melissa of her adoption experience. “When I was looking to adopt, I got discouraged because of the additional spaying cost. Every vet in the area wanted at least $250.00. That on top of the $250.00 to $300.00 adoption fee put getting a dog out of reach. Your staff explained that spaying is included in the adoption fee for every dog. That changed everything and I brought home my Sasha that same day.  I can’t imagine my life without her. So, thank you a million times and over for helping us find each other.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates about 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year. That staggering number could be reduced quickly and efficiently if there were more aggressive spay/neuter programs.

We are only one small shelter in Northeast Wisconsin. The number one barrier to rescuing significantly more dogs from our Kentucky partner is the cost of spay/neuter. We appreciate every dog you adopt, every volunteer hour, every financial or in-kind gift you give.

Wine and Wags is going to be a fun time to get together to have fun, bid on some excellent items, and add to the spay/neuter fund. If you come, please do. We’d like to know soon so that we can have an estimate on the number of people coming so that we can order food. Every penny you spend on the 50/50 raffle and all of our wonderful gift baskets and auction items will give us resources to bring in more rescues without the fear of adding to the problem of dogs not being fixed.

If you are not able to come to Wine and Wags please share this message to others. Some people choose to donate funds and we will always accept donations. We have a link on our page and if you’d like to celebrate National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month.

Some days it seems like an insurmountable goal to fix every dog in America. But it’s like the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer works for us, too. One bite at a time.