Pet overpopulation – part one

animal speak with Lindsay Curry - Pet overpopulation – part one

It’s kitten season – those months between late spring and fall that bring an avalanche of kittens to shelters and rescues around the province.  In just seven years, one unspayed cat and her offspring can produce more than 450,000 cats (with an average litter of three, twice per year.)

Dogs, too, can reproduce in dramatic numbers.  In seven years, one unspayed dog and her offspring can produce 4,000 dogs (average litter of four, once per year).

Pet overpopulation is a huge issue in our province, and our local shelter has one of B.C.’s highest surrender rates for puppies and kittens.  The BCSPCA takes in over 32,000 unwanted animals each year.  There are thousands of other animals cared for by rescues and other organizations.  This is a preventable problem, and it starts with the decision to spay and neuter your own pets.

There are many benefits to spaying and neutering.  It can lead to decreased aggression, and generally results in calmer, happier pets.  It provides increased health because it reduces the chance of many types of cancer.  And it contributes to overall good pet care, because your animal is being seen by a vet, who will ensure that your pet is healthy and has proper identification.

My next article will look at the main barrier to sterilizing pets, how soon you can do it, and other ways you can help end the pet overpopulation problem.