OUR VIEW: Take the time to spay/neuter your pets to prevent unwanted litters

Published 7:30 am Saturday, June 4, 2022

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It’s hard to believe there are people in the world who don’t like animals. In communities like LaGrange, it’s a wondrous sight to see pet owners walking their dogs downtown or having quiet moments on their front porches with their cats.

Ultimately pets are great, but many communities, including Troup County, often face the issue of pet overpopulation. This excess of animals are often the result of a lack of knowledge on the repercussions of not having one’s animals spayed/neutered or when the right time is to pursue this action. Some may avoid it altogether due to the medical costs, unaware the operation can prevent many health issues for an animal in the future.

In most instances, these animals end up in animal shelters like LaGrange’s. Sure, they may be housed and fed, but often can face health issues and general unhappiness being placed in an unfamiliar setting with dozens or more other animals. Animals who continue to have multiple litters can face malnutrition, anemia and birth-related injuries that can prove to be fatal.

Earlier this week, the LaGrange Animal Shelter announced it would offer half-price adoptions through June 30 as it deals with extreme overcrowding. The animal shelter reports this issue often, but at the peak of summer, when unspayed/unneutered animals roam, this problem triples. The shelter took in a total of 270 animals in May and currently has over 150 dogs and over 70 cats still in need of adoption. 

The shelter often receives relief from its partnership with the Puppy Pipeline system, which sends adoptable animals to less-populated shelters up north. However, these shelters are currently seeing issues of their own as people who were adopting animals to fill the long hours of quarantine head back to work and are unable to accommodate an animal. 

In addition to being inconvenient for pet owners, unplanned pet pregnancies can result in overpopulation and feral dog/cat issues, which can in turn lead to public health concerns. These animals end up as unsightly roadkill or as culprits in property damage.

Troup County has the saving grace of being a no-kill shelter, but with hundreds of animals to feed daily, no doubt it is in need of constant supply and volunteers to not only access of these animals’ physical needs but social and mental ones as well.

Taking care of a pet is no different than taking care of any other living creature. It takes time and effort. Those without this may need to hold off on such a decision. 

Pursue the idea of having your pet spayed/neutered. The decision could save a lot of heartache in the future.