Spay & Neuter Information


Feral Cat Colony Management Workshop

The City of Edgewater will hold a workshop at 6:30 PM on Wednesday January 15, 2014 at the City of Edgewater Council Chambers located at 102 N. Riverside Drive regarding Feral Cat Colony Management and Trap-Neuter-Return program.

The Animal Control Division’s mission is to control the feral cat overpopulation in the City of Edgewater through the humane, non-lethal method of Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR for short. TNR is providing an effective way of managing feral cat colonies and reducing their numbers over time. Come learn how to care for the feral and stray cats in your neighborhood and make use of the many resources now available to assist you. All steps in setting up a managed colony will be covered in the workshop, including establishing good community relations, identifying caregivers, program education, feeding, building and placing shelters, arranging vet care, finding recovery space, safely handling of feral cats and trapping. Concerned Citizens for Animal Welfare group is taking a lead in this mission and will be in attendance at the workshop.

All interested residents or volunteers, especially those currently feeding and caring for a cat colony or free-roaming cats in the City of Edgewater neighborhood are invited to attend this workshop to learn more. Your continued assistance and volunteer efforts are needed to make our TNR program successful.

For additional questions regarding this workshop, please contact Concerned Citizen for Animal Welfare organizers Pat Mihalic at (386)405-1559 or Cheryl Robel at (386)760-2324.


From October 1, 2013 through November 30, 2013 the City of Edgewater in a joint effort with CCFAW has sterilized 24 free roaming cats at 4 of the registered commercial and residential colonies. (15 of the cats were females) Assuming an average litter size of four (4) and frequency of gestation (average of 3 litters per year) the 15 female cats could have produced 180 kittens in the next twelve months.


What is Spaying and Neutering?

Sometimes refereed to as "altering", spaying and neutering are ways of providing birth control for dogs and cats by removing their reproductive organs, therefore preventing them from having litters of puppies or kittens. Spaying is the procedure used for female pets, and neutering generally refers to the procedures used for male pets.

Why shouldn't my pet have just one litter?

While it may seem harmless, letting your pet have one -- or even two -- litters can cause big problems. Even if you find homes for all (or most) of the puppies or kittens, what about their puppies and kittens? In less than a year, all those puppies and kittens will be grown dogs or cats and able to have litters of their own. On a daily basis, thousands of puppies and kittens??healthy but homeless??are killed. Many of them came from "just one litter." Consider these facts:

  • One dog and her puppies, in just six years, can produce 67,000 puppies.
  • In seven years, one cat and her offspring can be the source of 420,000 cats.
  • In the United States, every day, 70,000 (or more) puppies and kittens are born. Just 10,000 humans are born each day.

Who will take care of all these dogs and cats? It's not just a problem of too many -- each pet is an individual life.

Altering: It's Good for Your Pet

  • Neutered pets tend to live longer than unneutered pets.
  • Neutered pets have no chance or drastically reduced chances of suffering from a great many health problems. These health problems can be costly and difficult to treat.
  • Spayed females do not suffer from uterine or ovarian cancer and are highly unlikely to suffer from breast cancer, especially if spayed before her first estrus (or heat) cycle.
  • In male animals, neutering drastically reduces the chances of prostate difficulties (including cancer).

Altering: It's Good for You

  • Neutered pets are more loving and better tempered pets.
  • Neutered cats are less likely to mark their territory (or spray).
  • A spayed female doesn't have estrus (or heat cycles). The estrus cycle happens about twice a year for dogs and three or more times a year for cats. It can last for six or more days and often results in a distracted, nervous female??who may cry or howl??and numerous unwanted male visitors.
  • Neutered pets are less likely to bite. While neutering isn't a cure?all for all behavior problems, in combination with training it can mean drastic changes in a pet' s behavior??almost always for the better.
  • Male dogs or cats who are neutered are much less likely to run away or get into fights.

Altering: It's Good for the Community

Animal control agencies in nearly every community cost the taxpayers (us) millions of dollars every year. They do a good job but if s just not enough. With many millions of homeless animals, we are seeing an annual rise in dog bites and attacks, open garbage containers, feces in public and private areas, and angry, frightened citizens who do not understand the misery of these unwanted pets. Additionally, homeless animals disturb the ecological balance by scaring away or killing birds and wildlife.

*Statistics courtesy the Humane Society of the United States brochure "Just One Litter ... Facts about Spaying and Neutering Your Pet." 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037.

The Story : Too Many Pets, Not Enough Homes

Each year approximately 15 million pets are sent to animal shelters across the country. Only 25 to 30 percent of these animals are reclaimed by their owners or adopted into new homes. The rest, some 11 million dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, must be put to sleep because there are simply not enough good homes for them.

The good news is that this fact of today can change. The tragedy of too many pets and not enough homes can be prevented by spaying and neutering our animal companions.

Why Should I Know About This?

In one way or another, all of us ? including those who do not even have pets are affected by animal overpopulation.

Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to care for lost, abandoned, and unwanted pets. . . and millions more to put to sleep those that were not fortunate enough to find a home.

The health and safety of our communities is another concern. The greater the population of unwanted animals, the greater the incidence of such animal related issues as rabies, dog bites, cat scratches, traffic accidents, and animal abuse.

The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering?

Having your pet spayed or neutered benefits both you and your pet. Your pet can enjoy a longer life and better health, and you get peace of mind knowing your animal companion is safer and happier. Some specific benefits are:

  • Reduced risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer or infection in female cats and dogs
  • Reduced risk of testicular and prostate cancer or maladies in male cats and dogs
  • No unwanted pregnancies
  • Reduced incidence of aggressive behavior in male cats and dogs
  • Reduced desire to roam, breed, mark territory, fight with other animals for male cats and dogs
  • Reduced desire to roam, breed for female cats and dogs
  • Helps alleviate the dog and cat overpopulation problem

Some Common Myths About Spay/Neuter

Myth #I: My pet will get fat and lazy.
Spaying or neutering may diminish your pet's overall activity level, natural tendency to wander, and hormonal balances, which may influence appetite. Pets that become fat and lazy after being altered usually are overfed and do not get enough exercise.

Myth #2: If we breed Rover and Fluffy, their puppies (or kittens) will be just like them.
Breeding two purebred animals rarely results in offspring that are exactly like one of the parents. And with mixed breeds, it is virtually impossible to have offspring that are exactly like one of the parents.

Myth #3: My pet's personality will change.
Any change will be for the better! After being altered, your pet will be less aggressive toward other dogs or cats, have a better personality, and will be less likely to wander. Spraying (urine marking), which is often done by dogs and cats to mark their territory, diminishes or ceases after pets are altered.

Myth #4: My children should witness our pet giving birth.
Pets often have their litters in the middle of the night or in a place of their own choosing. Because pets need privacy when giving birth, any unnecessary intrusion can cause the mother to become seriously upset. These intrusions can result in an unwillingness to care for the offspring or in injury to the owners of the pet. There are videos available for your children to witness the "miracle of birth" without adding to the pet overpopulation problem.

Myth #5: 1 am concerned about my pet undergoing anesthesia.
Placing a pet under anesthesia is a very common concern of owners. Although there is always a slight risk involved, the anesthetics currently used by veterinarians are very safe. Many veterinarians use equipment that monitor heart and upper respiratory rates during surgery to ensure that their patients are doing well under anesthesia. The medical benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anesthesia. Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about this aspect of the procedure.

Myth #6: The surgery is painful for the animal, and may harm my pet.
During spaying/neutering, dogs and cats are fully anesthetized, so they feel no pain. Afterwards, most pets seem to experience slight discomfort, but all signs of discomfort disappear within a few days, or even a few hours. Serious harm as a result of spay/neuter surgery is extremely rare.

Myth #7: The surgery is expensive.
Spay/neuter surgery generally costs less than most major surgeries, especially if the dog or cat is young and healthy. Low-cost or low-income spay/neuter clinics or programs in which local veterinarians perform spaying/neutering at reduced cost are available for those who cannot otherwise afford to have the surgery performed.

1. Spaying / Neutering: Lifelong Benefits For Dogs and Cats. The Fund For Animals. Eric Dunayer, VMD and Joan Dunayer.
2. Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet? A Scriptographic Booklet by Charming L. Bete Company, South Deerfield, Massachusetts. 1985.

How Spaying and Neutering is Done

Thousands of our feline and canine friends are spayed and neutered every day. Both operations are low-risk procedures, usually without complications. Descriptions of typical spay and neuter procedures are discussed below. However, these procedures may differ depending on individual circumstances.

Normally, your veterinarian will instruct you to withhold food and water from your pet overnight before the operation. Immediately before surgery, the pet is given pre-anesthetic agents and injected or masked with a light anesthetic. Next, a tube attached to a tank of anesthetic gas is inserted into the trachea. This procedure maintains the amount of anesthesia needed during surgery. When the pet is asleep, the veterinary technician shaves the operation site and cleanses the skin with an antiseptic scrub to ensure that the skin is free of bacteria. Throughout the surgery, your pet will be closely monitored.

Neutering (castrating) a male pet is a fairly simple procedure. For dogs, an incision is made in front of the scrotum, the blood vessels leading to the testicles are clamped and tied, and the testicles are removed. The incision is then closed with sutures. For cats, the procedure is about the same except that sutures are not usually needed for the incision. Your pet will awake in a few hours, and ready to go home that night.

Spaying a female pet is more complicated. An incision is made in the abdomen and the vessels that supply blood to the uterus and ovaries are clamped and tied. The uterus and ovaries are then removed. After the veterinarian makes sure that there is no internal bleeding, the incision is closed with multiple layers of sutures or staples. Following the operation, your pet will most likely come home that evening. In 8 to 10 days the incision will have healed, and the sutures or staples will be removed by your veterinarian unless they are self-dissolving.

1. Should You Spay/Neuter Your Pet? Alpo, Petfoods, Incorporated. 1993.

What happens when people don’t spay/neuter their pets?

This country's thousands of shelters are forced to kill literally MILLIONS of animals every year. They pour in, a never?ceasing, always increasing, inundating flood. Consequently, EVERY DAY, shelters are forced to kill and kill and kill, in order to make room for the ones that will flood them that day: all the result of thoughtless pet owners. Animals turned in to the shelters to be killed are the lucky ones - many are abandoned to be tortured, starved, injured and infected and left to die alone.

If you have further questions, call Edgewater Animal Shelter -- 386-957-3994