There is one home for every 11 cats that are born, filling shelters with unwanted animals or leaving communities to deal with strays.
The Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission attributes the overpopulation of cats and dogs to their owners' failure to spay and neuter their animals. Since spring is known as mating season, now is the time to prevent animal reproduction, officials said.
According to MADACC:
Spaying or neutering pets can eliminate or reduce a number of health problems.
Spaying can prevent uterine and ovarian cancers and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when spaying happens before the first estrous cycle. Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.
The procedures also help with behavioral issues. Neutered cats will be less likely to spray and mark their territory, while neutered cats and dogs will be less likely to roam from home and get into fights. Spayed animals won't attract unwanted male animals or cry incessantly and exhibit nervous behavior because their heat cycles will be eliminated.
Spaying and neutering also can make pets less aggressive.
Until pets are spayed or neutered, keep them indoors or make sure they are supervised outside of the home. Cats and dogs should have IDs - tags on the collars with a current phone number, a Milwaukee County license or a microchip - to help pets find their way home quickly.
For information, call MADACC at (414) 649-8640.
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