The Benefits of Spay + Neuter: The Facts and Stats


A staggering 3 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States because they don’t have homes. Spaying and neutering helps lower these numbers by decreasing unplanned litters and thus the number of unwanted and homeless animals. Check out these additional facts and stats demonstrating the many health and community benefits of sterilization.

• In the United States, some 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats enter the shelter system each year.

• Only one in ten animals that enter the shelter system have been spayed or neutered.

• While we don’t know how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States, some estimate the number to be in the hundreds of millions, with the numbers for cats alone ranging up to 70 million.

• A fertile cat can produce one to two litters a year of four to six kittens per litter.

• A fertile dog averages one litter of four to six puppies each year.

• In fact, one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years, and one female cat and her offspring can produce more than 1,000 kittens.

• The cost of spaying and neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for one year.

• An estimated 85 percent of dogs hit by cars have not been sterilized. Sterilization reduces a pet’s urge to roam, decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or being injured in a fight or by a car.

• Sterilization also reduces the risks of some reproductive cancers in pets. It’s believed sterilization can increase a dog’s life by one to three years and a cat’s life by three to five years.