Why Spay or Neuter?

Spaying & Neutering Saves Lives

Without question, the most important reason to spay or neuter your pet is that it will literally save lives.


Pet overpopulation has reached a crisis point in our country. It is estimated that for every litter of puppies or kittens born, another must be euthanized. At Willamette Humane Society, we take in more than 10,000 animals every year. During “kitten season,” (the warm spring and summer months when cats give birth), we receive litter after litter of kittens – sometimes as many of 70 cats and kittens in one day. Although we work diligently to save as many as possible through adoption and transfer to partner rescue organizations, there simply aren’t enough homes for them all.

Experts agree that only by spaying and neutering our companion animals will we get a handle on pet overpopulation and eliminate the need to euthanize adoptable pets. By having your dog or cat surgically sterilized, you become an important part of this solution. Make an appointment for your pet today.

Spaying & Neutering Enhances Your Pet’s Health & Quality of Life

In addition to preventing the birth of unwanted litters, there are multiple health benefits to spaying or neutering your cat or dog:

Male Cats
An urge to breed increases the chances that a male cat will slip out of the house in search of a mate and suffer fight wounds and other injuries. Even a single bite can transmit deadly diseases – such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) or Feline Leukemia (FeLV) - from one cat to another. Most unneutered male cats also spray urine – on furniture and walls - to mark their territory. In contrast, only 1 in 10 neutered males will spray. Neutering male cats at an early age greatly reduces this unpleasant behavior.

Female Cats
Spaying removes the ovaries and uterus from female animals and eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer. In addition, when unspayed female cats are in heat, many will yowl – loudly and continually – any hour of the day or night. Spaying eliminates the heat cycle and this unpleasant behavior.

Male Dogs
Neutering removes the testicles and prevents testicular tumors in male dogs. By eliminating the sexual drive that can cause a dog to bolt from the house or yard, neutering also helps protect dogs from the injuries and diseases associated with roaming. In many male dogs, neutering also greatly reduces or eliminates sexual mounting behavior and territorial urine-marking - especially when males are neutered at an early age.

Female Dogs
Spaying eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer in female dogs and cats. It can also reduce the risk of mammary gland tumors, which is the most common tumor in unspayed female dogs and the third most common in female cats. Spaying female dogs prevents the irritability and aggressiveness that some display while in heat.

For more information about spaying, neutering, and the importance of regular veterinary care for your pet, see our one-page handout or view the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association’s Q&A page about spaying and neutering