Opinion: National Desexing Month highlights benefits of desexing pets

Mary Hickie

Mary Hickie

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world.

Four out of five Australians have owned a pet at some time and almost two-thirds of Australian households currently own pets.

Despite these figures, around 23 cats and dogs die every hour of every day in pounds and shelters nationwide.

Due to the ongoing problem of pet overpopulation, these healthy animals are being euthanised because there are not enough homes available.

National Desexing Month, held in July each year, attempts to raise awareness about this, and encourage pet owners to desex their animals.

How does desexing your pet help? Firstly, it is a method of preventing unwanted litters.  

All four-legged babies are cute and cuddly but can you guarantee they will be loved and cared for by their new owners as they grow up, as you would want for them?

Working with Port Stephens Council as the pound operator and as the proprietor of a boarding kennel for many years, we see so many animals purchased as youngsters that when the novelty wears off or the situation changes, they become neglected in various ways and often the problem is handed onto someone else to deal with.

Desexing animals, generally, will give them the greatest chance of living a longer and healthier life and becoming a loving and contented member of your family. 

A roaming animal is often caused by a male on the prowl (the scent of a female can be detected by a male hundreds of meters away) and a female in oestrus can naturally get the urge to find a male.  

This can cause the animal to find a way to get out, visiting other homes in the neighbourhood thus being a nuisance to others in the area, not to mention the risk of injury and/or causing an accident.

Desexing should be considered as a prevention of aggression rather than a cure. 

Non-desexed animals can display aggression to others including humans and be dominant over their environment, their owners and food, etc.

It has been documented that animals not desexed are more likely to develop medical problems such as cancer, tumours, cysts and various infections of the re-productive organs.

Another incentive is cost. Under state law, a lifetime registration fee is at least $150 less for a desexed animal.

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