HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Jon Austin, DVM with Hutchinson Small Animal Hospital is urging pet owners to spay and neuter their pets.
"Breeding needs to happen only with special individuals, like a purebred animal," Austin said. "Just random having kittens, having puppies for the sake of it with a stray dog or a mutt, nothing special, seems pointless to us now, because so many animals end up in shelters, so many animals end up euthanized."
The statistics for number of animals euthanized in Hutchinson only go up to 2019.
"There were almost 700 animals euthanized in Hutchinson in 2019," Austin said. "That breaks your heart, because a lot of those might have been dogs who were adoptable or cats who were adoptable, but because of space accommodations or whatever, they end up having to be euthanized and it's sad."
Not all clients agree with Austin, at least at first.
"Still today, I have people who, oh no, we need her to have a heat cycle, so she'll be nice, or we need her to have a litter, so she'll be a good pet," Austin said. "Absolutely not. That has nothing to do with the mindset and the personality and the loving tendencies in the cat or dog at all. Reproduction actually does just the opposite. It cements their role in nature and they focus their attention on where they fit in the nature situation, rather than your family."
Spaying female dogs and cats reduces the incidence of mammary cancer, eliminates uterine and ovarian cancer risk and prevents pyometra, a potentially life-threatening infection of the uterus. Neutering male animals protects them from prostatic hypertrophy and infections, as well as testicular cancer and certain types of hernias.