Being a Responsible Pet Parent: Spaying and Neutering

Photo by Janice Eck

By Janice Eck

Photograph by Janice Eck

(Hesperia)– The Hesperia Animal Shelter is one of 50 shelters across the nation competing in the ASPCA/Rachel Ray 100K Challenge. With $600,000 in grants including a $100,000 grand prize, Hesperia Animal Shelter is working hard to adopt out 1,300 pets through August. Most of the pets available for adoption are dogs and cats. Some are young and some are old and there are major differences in caring for either. In Being a Responsible Pet Parent Series, we will discuss which pet may be right for you and the responsibilities that come with having a pet.

When High Desert Daily asked Suzanne Edson, Hesperia Animal Control Supervisor, in an interview about the importance of spaying and neutering, this is what she had to say, “We need to spay and neuter because we have so many homeless, unwanted animals. We all talk about kitten season every year because people don’t get their cats spayed or neutered. Cats will wander and we’ll have an explosion of kittens and everybody’s giving away kittens and everybody’s trying to sell kittens and the shelters are overrun with kittens then we all have these very adorable kittens that we can’t find homes for and so if people would spay and neuter their pets, there is still a population out there that is reproducing and doing it, but we’d like to make it so that the animals that are reproducing are doing it on purpose, not accidental litters.”

Edson goes on to explain that California Law requires all pets leaving a shelter to be spayed or neutered, “Everything that leaves the shelter is either spayed or neutered before it leaves or has to come back to get spayed or neutered – that’s actually California state law. We are not unique in our numbers. At one point, we did a survey back in 2005. The High Desert, which had a lot less population eight years ago, had 16,000 pets come into the shelters in 2005 and you know that we did not find homes for all those pets. Basically, at that point, we had two shelters, the Victor Valley Animal Protective League and the Hesperia Animal Shelter.”

Only about a third of Hesperia Animal Shelter pets get claimed by their owners or are adopted to new families. Millions of dogs and cats are needlessly euthanized every year all over the country. Adopting from a shelter is saving one of these lives. Spaying or neutering is saving even more ( Edson said that even if 70% of the pet population got spayed or neutered, the other 30% will be able to replenish the population).

Visit Hesperia Animal Shelter’s Facebook Page to view their weekly $15 specials:

To see adoptable pets or to see if your pet has been taken to Hesperia Animal Shelter, visit:

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