Please spay and neuter your pets

Published 6:38 pm Saturday, August 1, 2015

To the editor:

On behalf of the Suffolk Humane Society, I want to thank the Suffolk News-Herald for its July 25 editorial, “A problem that needs fixing,” about the epidemic of stray companion animals and the lack of homes for them, resulting in the euthanasia of many adoptable animals.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, shelters take in between six and eight million animals every year. Some of these animals are strays, some are the result of an accidental breeding, and some are turned in by their owner for various reasons. Only about 2.7 million of these shelter animals are adopted. Many of the unadoptable animals end up being euthanized to make space for new animals coming in to the shelter. Experts agree that the best way to control the pet population and decrease euthanasia is to spay and neuter pets.

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Since 2007, the Suffolk Humane Society has been offering low-cost spay and neuter options through the Virginia Beach SPCA’s mobile veterinary clinic, the Neuter Scooter. The goal of the Neuter Scooter is to prevent the overpopulation of dogs and cats through spay and neuter. The Scooter, which travels around Hampton Roads to provide services to many areas, visits Suffolk twice a month and can perform 29 surgeries per day.

The average intact female cat has two to three litters per year, with up to six kittens with each litter. Each of those kittens can have their own litters of six kittens at 6 months. The cat population grows exponentially with each litter. The average litter of dogs is one per year, with an average of four to six puppies. Also, data shows that the cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising a litter for one year.

Until more people spay and neuter their pets, the numbers in shelters will continue to grow as will the numbers of adoptable animals who are euthanized simply because there are not enough homes for them. We encourage residents to take advantage of Suffolk Humane’s sponsorship of the Neuter Scooter to spay and neuter their pets.

For more information, visit, and to make an appointment to spay or neuter your pet through the Neuter Scooter, call Suffolk Humane at 538-3030.

Eileen Gizara

Executive Director, Suffolk Humane Society