Spay or neuter pets

Published 9:53 pm Thursday, July 18, 2019

At the risk of sounding too “The Price is Right” — help control the pet population; have your pets spayed or neutered.

A story in Thursday’s edition told of the influx of cats and kittens at the Suffolk Animal Care Center. Laurie Brittle, who has been the manager there for several years, said this is a typical summer in Suffolk.

About 150 to 200 cats come through the shelter each month in June, July and August — about double the number it receives in the other months of the year.

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Anybody who has been to the shelter knows it doesn’t have anywhere near the room for that kind of population. So they do their best to place cats and kittens in other shelters, with foster families, and so on. But inevitably, some perfectly healthy cats will be euthanized just because there isn’t room for them.

Sadly, most of this problem is due to irresponsible pet owners, and animals are suffering for it.

Yes, some of these kittens are from feral populations, but the vast majority are from pets that are not fixed and are allowed to roam, mating with other unfixed cats and producing untold numbers of new animals.

A variety of figures can be found online, but even conservative estimates, that take into account the fact that some kittens do not survive and some offspring will be fixed, indicate an unspayed female cat that lives for only 10 years can produce at least 50,000 additional animals, taking into account her direct offspring and all of their offspring.

There’s no denying that kittens are cute. They’re adorable and playful and fun to watch as they’re discovering more about their world. But the astonishing numbers speak for themselves: allowing a pet to roam unfixed is irresponsible at best.

Spaying and neutering of cats and dogs can be had cheaply or free through a number of resources in the community. Just ask your veterinarian or call the Suffolk Humane Society at 538-3030. You can also help the problem by adopting, which will help curb the demand for pet stores and breeders.

Thousands of animals in the community will thank you for doing the right thing.