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EDITORIAL: Spay/neuter clinics offer options

— There’s no excuse to keep your pets unaltered.

The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse, based in Liverpool, is the recipient of a $20,000 grant from the Central New York Community Foundation that will allow the organization to to purchase start-up equipment for a mobile spay/neuter clinic, which will move around to various city locations altering both dogs and cats belonging to low-income residents.

And they’re not alone. The CNY SPCA also received a grant for low-cost spaying and neutering. This grant applies only to residents of the 13211 zip code and is good for 2013-14. All surgeries will take place at the CNY SPCA on East Molloy Road.

“Spay/neuter is so important,” said Linda Young, president of the Animal Alliance, “because Central New York has a huge overpopulation problem with both cats and dogs, resulting in a lot of suffering as well as a high euthanasia rate. Spay/neuter is the only solution to that.”

Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to shelter and care for stray, abandoned and unwanted pets. Much of that money is spent to euthanize these animals when homes cannot be found. Approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters each year, due to the sheer fact that there are not enough willing adopters. If you prevent your pet from reproducing, you can help bring down that number.

In addition to addressing the overpopulation problem, spaying or neutering your pet will help your pet live a longer, healther life. Spaying eliminates the constant crying and nervous pacing of a female cat in heat. Spaying a female dog also eliminates the messiness associated with the heat cycle.

Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent certain undesirable sexual behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression and the urge to roam. If you have more than one pet in your household, all the pets will generally get along better if they are neutered.

A long-term benefit of spaying and neutering is improved health for both cats and dogs. Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer. Neutering males prevents testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland, and greatly reduces their risk for perianal tumors.

So please, spay or neuter your pet. For more information on low-income spaying and neutering, contact the CNY SPCA at 454-4479 or the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse at animalallianceofgreatersyracuse.org.

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