Guest column: Resources available at Ardmore Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic

The Daily Ardmoreite

Are you an animal lover!  Do you have companion animals? If you do, you may have wondered about spaying or neutering your four-legged friend. There are many myths surrounding this topic but most of them are just that, myths. 

Spaying or neutering your pet will not cause it to become overweight. But poor diet and lack of exercise can cause your companion to pack on extra pounds. You should not wait to spay a female until after their first heat cycle. On the contrary, your female pet will live a longer, healthier life when spayed before her first heat. This helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats.  

Neutering your male companion isn't a quick fix for all behavioral problems but it does have benefits. A neutered dog is less likely to roam away from home in search of a female or even become an escape artist that will stop at nothing to get to a female in heat! Unneutered dogs and cats are more likely to mark their territory and mount other dogs, people, and inanimate objects. Early neutering may even prevent some aggression problems. Not to mention, the health benefits, such as, prevention of testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

With the lingering effects of COVID-19, people are hesitant to spend the money on the procedure but it's more cost efficient than caring for a litter of kittens or puppies.  Then there's the challenge of finding a home for them all or taking them to the animal shelter. Ardmore Animal Care serves, not only Ardmore and Carter County, but the surrounding areas too including Lone Grove, Marietta, Wilson, Madill, Springer, Healdton, Ringling, and more. Every week those small shelters without the resources for long term care bring those animals to AAC. Right now, the shelter is caring for over 300 animals with 50 of those being kittens!

  A female cat can have kittens as early as 4 months old which is why we recommend spaying at 16 weeks. She can also get pregnant while nursing so spaying when the kittens are 8 weeks old can save your momma kitty from having back-to-back litters.  Most dogs have their first heat cycle around 6 months with some smaller breeds being earlier. We recommend spaying at around 5-6 months. Call your family veterinarian today! 

If you are unable to afford to get your dog or cat spayed/neutered there are resources available. In an effort to help control the unwanted pet population Ardmore Animal Care has opened a nonprofit, low cost spay/neuter clinic to aid low-income families in pet sterilization. Ardmore Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic is open Monday - Thursday by appointment only. The clinic also works in conjunction with Food For Pets, an organization dedicated to helping low-income families have healthy cats and dogs. 

— Kerri Williams is the Clinic Manager for the Ardmore Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic.