Manitoba vets ‘spaying it forward’ with annual campaign against pet overpopulation

FILE: A puppy and a kitten pose together. Photo by Ren Netherland / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

In an effort to cut down on unwanted pets in local animal shelters, a half-dozen Manitoba veterinarians will be ‘spaying it forward’ on Wednesday and offering discounted spaying and neutering for dogs and cats.

The annual event, known as ‘spay day’, has been in effect since 1995, says Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) director Corey Wilson.

“Our members, veterinarians and veterinary technologists in the province, though it would be so important to help people have access to spay and neuters for their animals,” Wilson told 680 CJOB’s The Start.

“Unfortunately, when (pets) have litters that (owners) weren’t expecting, many of them end up in animal shelters. We know that’s really not ideal, so we hoping to help Manitobans ensure they’re having animals they’re able to properly care for.”

Story continues below advertisement

Wilson said a big part of the day’s goal is public education — letting people know about sterilizing their pets and the potential consequences of not having the procedure done, which can include overpopulation at shelters, and in many cases, euthanasia of unwanted animals.

The latest health and medical news emailed to you every Sunday.

“I think a lot of people would be surprised at how quickly they can have an unexpected litter, and that’s why it’s so important to get veterinary care at the beginning of animal ownership,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Spaying and neutering your pets has proactive health benefits.'
Spaying and neutering your pets has proactive health benefits.

Steinbach veterinarian Leeann Bargen, whose Pet Vet clinic is a participant in spay day, said pet owners might be shocked to learn just how quickly a pet cat can reproduce if they haven’t been spayed or neutered.

“It depends a little bit on individual factors, and age and breed and that sort of thing, but a conservative average litter a cat will have four kittens — I’ve seen the odd litter of nine and I’ve seen some with one or two,” Bargen said.

Story continues below advertisement

“If one cat has four kittens and two of those end up being females, in 16 months those reproductive animals will be able to create 36 more animals …in less than a year and a half.

“It’s a really good wave to get in front of — if you get in front of a cat, you can take down three dozen cats in one fell swoop.”

Bargen said although pets will need some recovery time after an operation, it’s well worth it to prevent pet overpopulation.

“We do like to keep them on the down-low for a little bit to help minimize complications.”

A full list of participating Manitoba vet clinics can be seen on the MVMA’s website.

Click to play video: 'Pet owners, furry friends facing tough decisions due to inflation'
Pet owners, furry friends facing tough decisions due to inflation

Sponsored content