Best Friends Animal Society operates the nation’s largest sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals
and provides adoption, spay/neuter and educational programs throughout the United States. A pioneer of the
“no-kill” shelter movement, the 3,700-acre sanctuary near Kanab, Utah, is home to more than
1,700 dogs, cats, horses, birds and other animals at any given time.
The words “spay” and “neuter” refer to the surgical sterilization
of female and male pets by removing reproductive organs.
Why Four Months?
Because pets can get pregnant much sooner than most people think — kittens
as early as four months and puppies as early as six months — over half of
the more than 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day are the result of
accidental litters. This is mostly due to the confusion over when to spay
Isn’t four months too young?
Actually, pets can be fixed safely as young as eight weeks. And younger pets
tend to bounce back quicker from the procedure. Because pet health may vary,
please check with your veterinarian to find the best time to spay or neuter
Is fixing my pet dangerous?
While both spaying and neutering are major medical procedures,
they are also the most common surgeries practiced by veterinarians.
Your pet will have a thorough examination before undergoing the
procedure to make sure they are healthy enough for surgery.
Will my pet be in a lot of pain?
Your pet will be under anesthesia for the procedure, and usually
mild pain-control medications easily manage any discomfort resulting
from the procedure. Recovery from the surgery is surprisingly quick.
In fact, most dogs and cats are back to normal within 24 to 48 hours.
Is spaying or neutering a pet expensive?
Costs vary by community, but you can usually find a veterinarian who will fix your
dog for less than $150 and your cat for less than $50. That’s much less than
the costs of properly caring for a pregnant pet and the resulting litter of
puppies or kittens. Or the cost paid by taxpayers to support shelters that must
care for and kill homeless animals if an adoption family cannot be found.
Will my pet get fat?
Just like people, pets become overweight from improper nutrition or lack of
exercise. Good diet and exercise can help keep your pet healthy.
Will my pet’s personality change?
Spaying or neutering is unlikely to change temperament, basic personality or levels of
playfulness and general activity. However, it can have a positive effect as some
behavioral issues — especially sexual behaviors such as mounting, howling and the
urge to roam — are reduced following surgery. And despite what some believe, pets
show no signs of “missing” mating or breeding.
If only female pets can get pregnant, why should I fix my male?
“It takes two to tango,” as they say, so males are every bit as much a part
of the problem as females. Plus, male pets are more likely to run away in
search of a mate, which puts them at a much higher risk of disease and injury.
Will my male pet feel emasculated?
This is a human feeling — not one that your dog or cat experiences. They may, however,
be less likely to exhibit sexual-related behaviors such as marking and howling.
Do I need to wait for my pet to go into her first heat?
There is no medical research that proves it’s healthier to wait until your dog or
cat has gone into heat. In fact, spaying them before their first heat greatly reduces
the risk of mammary cancers and reproductive-related diseases. And if done properly, spaying
and neutering at any age can eliminate or reduce the development of reproductive organ tumors.
How old is too old to spay or neuter my pet?
Dogs and cats can be fixed at any time during their life span. Your veterinarian
can address any concerns there might be about performing the procedure on an older pet.
Watch, download, shop and share the Fix at Four message
with friends and fellow animal lovers.
It’s easy to make a difference in the lives of innocent puppies and kittens.
Click the buttons to learn more about Best Friends and make a donation.
Best Friends Animal Society has a mission of bringing about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. In addition to operating
the nation’s largest sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals, they also provide adoption, spay/neuter and educational
programs throughout the United States. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer of the “no-kill” shelter movement,
and has a history of involvement in high profile animal welfare projects:
Best Friends members and volunteers spent 249 days in and around New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, leading efforts to
rescue and transport more than 6,000 injured and displaced pets.
Their canine rehabilitation program was awarded custody of 22 of the most special-needs dogs seized from NFL player Michael Vick.
The sanctuary was the location of the National Geographic Channel television series DogTown.
Best Friends magazine, published bimonthly, is the nation’s largest general-interest, pet-related magazine, with approximately 300,000 subscribers.
With support and assistance from caring individuals like you, Best Friends aims to stop animals from being killed in shelters all across
the country by supporting spay/neuter programs, rescuing dogs from puppy mills, promoting legislation that helps animals, fighting breed
discrimination, offering free assistance to rescue groups across the nation and much, much more.
Choose one of the options below to find the best source for getting your pet spayed or neutered.
Enter your ZIP Code for a list of veterinarians near you: