The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.
Rae Patterson, Writer and Animal Enthusiast
The team at Bark & Boarding is committed to the well-being of your pet and of pets everywhere. That’s why we want to share some reasons we believe it is important to spay or neuter your animals.
To begin with, let’s answer the question, “Why is it such a big deal anyway?” The main problem humans try to combat by spaying and neutering is overpopulation. And the extent of that problem is quite extraordinary.
- It is estimated that there are nearly 70 million stray dogs and cats living in the U.S.
- Stray (abandoned or feral) animals suffer from unpredictable living conditions, lack of shelter, lack of sufficient food and water and high risk for illness, all due to overpopulation.
- Stray animal overpopulation poses a threat to human welfare: It’s unsanitary, disrupts the natural environment and draws predatory animals like coyotes into populated areas.
- There are an estimated 30-40 million stray (abandoned or feral) cats living in the U.S.
- Approximately 5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year in the U.S.
- At least 80% of those euthanized were healthy and could have been re-homed.
- The estimated amount spent by U.S. humane organizations and animal control organizations combined reaches nearly $3 billion
A lack of commitment to spay and neuter pets is a leading cause in the overpopulation of unwanted animals. Even if your pet is an indoor animal, that doesn’t mean your pet won’t ever slip out. Dogs love to squeeze past your legs or dig under the fence to go for a run, and cats are experts at escape, especially when in heat.
It only takes once for your pet to produce an entire litter of babies. Consider this: A single cat has an average of 3-5 kittens. Don’t think she’s one and done. A cat will breed 2-3 per year if possible. Each of her kittens will be capable of reproducing another 3-5 kittens within 6 months.
Even if your cat only has one litter of 5 kittens, and each of her babies only has (or helps produce) one litter of 5 kittens, that’s 25 new cats that need homes within less than a year, just from your cat’s one-time excursion.
We know you’ll also be wondering spaying or neutering harms your pet. No, the surgery is safe. In fact, spay and neuter procedures provide health benefits for your animals. Females are protected from the common ailments of uterine infections and breast tumors; males are prevented from getting testicular cancer and some prostate problems.
Spaying and neutering can also help keep you and your pet both sane. Females won’t go into heat, a yowling and spraying frenzy that is unlikely to be a happy time for either of you. Males will be less driven to escape, less likely to engage in territorial spraying, and maybe a little less aggressive.
If you’re concerned about the cost of spay and neuter, both the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA have databases of low-cost spay and neuter clinics near you. Follow the hyperlinks on each organization title here to find their respective data bases.
Your local vets and rescues (check out one of our favorite partners — Operation Paws for Homes) are also good resources who will be very willing to help you find an affordable option. This is a worthwhile investment that should be considered in the cost of adopting an animal.
In the end we believe it’s about being a responsible pet owner. Spay and neuter benefits your pet, benefits you and it benefits other people and animals all around you. Thank you for considering the impact of how you care for your animal.
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If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected].
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village