Why should I spay or neuter my pet?

1. Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
2. Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.
3. Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle.
4. Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.
5. Spaying and neutering makes pets better, more affectionate companions.
6. Neutering cats makes them less likely to spray and mark territory.
7. Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year, in dogs and an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats. Females in heat can cry incessantly, show nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male animals.
8. Unsterilized animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those who have been spayed or neutered.
9. Spaying and neutering can make pets less likely to bite.
10. Neutering makes pets less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away, or get into fights.
11. Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals.
12. Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of dog bites and attacks.
13. Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals.
14. Stray pets and homeless animals get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs.
15. Some stray animals also scare away or kill birds and wildlife.

But I want my children to experience the miracle of birth, what’s wrong with having just one litter?

There are many ways for your children to learn about the reproductive process. Animal Planet even has a show every day showing every animal you can imagine giving birth. While you believe the people you give the puppies or kittens to will provide a loving, permanent home, the truth is many will not. All baby animals are cute, but they grow up, need to go to the veterinarian every year, eat, dig, scratch, and destroy things when they don’t get enough attention. Many people have every intention of providing a good home, but go down to Town Lake Animal Center and ask how many animals were surrendered by their owners. Multiply that by 8 to factor in the people who just abandoned their pets and you can get an estimate of how many irresponsible people don’t live up to their end of the bargain when they take your cute puppy or kitten home.

What is the Spay Austin Coalition?

A group of individuals and organizations including, but not limited to, Animal Trustees, Emancipet, Town Lake Animal Center, ShadowCats, the Feral Cat Society of Austin, Thundering Paws, the Humane Society, Austin Pets Alive!, and local veterinarians. We started the campaign in fall of 2003 to raise awareness of the pet overpopulation problem and to help solve the crisis through Spay/Neuter efforts.

How is the Spay Austin Coalition different from other animal welfare groups?

Spay Austin Coalition was originally started by members of other animal welfare groups. We work with those and other groups in and around Austin on different projects because we believe there is strength in numbers. We can accomplish much more by working together than we can individually.

How can I get a job application?

We have many volunteer opportunities that can be personally fulfilling and will look great on your resume. Everyone here is a volunteer, there are no paid positions.

How do you spend the donations you receive?

Since we have no administrative overhead we are able to dedicate 100% of the donations we receive to outreach, education and sometimes even for veterinary care of the animals we work with.

What do the Spay Austin volunteers do?

Lots of things. Our primary mission is education and that’s what our volunteers focus on. Many participate in the feral cat TNR (trap-neuter-release) program. They are contacted by Austin residents (mostly), animal control (occasionally), and even find colonies of feral cats on their own. They go out with humane traps and transport the cats to a clinic to be spayed or neutered, wait a few days for them to recover then return them to their colony. Others participate at events passing out educational fliers, and some even attend and/or coordinate protests when situations arise where animals are being treated inhumanely.