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Sun, Aug. 18

Column: 'Beat the Heat' and spay or neuter your pet

Courtesy photo<br>Beat the Heat to make sure your pet isn’t contributing to the pet overpopulation crisis. Call 928-771-0547 to make your appointment today!

Courtesy photo<br>Beat the Heat to make sure your pet isn’t contributing to the pet overpopulation crisis. Call 928-771-0547 to make your appointment today!

Spring is the season for love and rebirth - but this is a harsh reality for the staff and volunteers at the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS). Uncontrolled breeding of pets is the leading cause of homelessness for thousands of animals in our community. Each spring as most of us celebrate new life, litter after litter arrives at our doors.

Abandoned litters of newborns, staring at us with soulful eyes are already coming in. The good news is we have a solution.

YHS is asking pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered during our Beat the Heat Spay/Neuter Campaign to make sure they are altered before they go into heat this spring.

Here is how you can help:

Schedule a low-cost, high quality, spay or neuter surgery for each of your pets at the YHS Spay/Neuter Clinic located at 2989 Centerpointe East in Prescott. Spay/neuter surgeries are scheduled Tuesday through Thursday every week. To schedule an appointment, call 928-771-0574. Mention "Beat the Heat" when you book an appointment and you will receive a $5 coupon towards a pet vaccination for each pet altered. The Clinic also provides low cost vaccinations and microchips every Friday on a first come, first served basis.

Why should you have your pets spayed or neutered?

• It's good for your pet.

• Spay/neuter helps pets live longer, healthier lives by eliminating or reducing the incidence of many health problems that can be very difficult and/or expensive to treat.

• It's better to spay your female pet before she goes into heat the first time. This reduces the risk of breast cancer and eliminates the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer in your dog.

• Neutered males will not develop testicular cancer and their risk for developing prostate cancer is greatly reduced.

• Spay/neutered pets are, typically, better behaved and more calm and affectionate than unaltered pets.

• Male cats are less likely to spray urine to mark their territory, especially if neutered prior to developing this habit.

• Spaying your female pet eliminates her heat cycle, thereby eliminating regular bleeding, and the incessant crying and nervous behavior that often accompanies the heat cycle.

• Neutering decreases an animal's desire to escape and wander the neighborhood in search of a mate. This decreases the risk of fights, death caused by getting hit by cars, and lost or stolen pets. You avoid the cost and sadness of a lost pet.

• Spaying keeps unwelcome male animals away.

It's good for the community.

• Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals.

• Spay/neuter decreases the homeless animal population. YHS shelters are full of homeless animals, and there are not enough homes for all of them.

• Spay/neuter decreases the number of strays, which are often involved in dog bites and attacks, automobile accidents, defecation on and damage to private property, and more.

• Stray animals can scare away and kill wildlife and other domestic animals.

These reasons explain why we need to band together this spring to "Beat the Heat!" Spay/neuter your pets before they contribute to our community's already serious pet overpopulation problems.

Another way you can help:

Together we can break the rampant breeding cycle in our community. Your gift to YHS will help us continue to spay or neuter the animals in our care and educate school children, families and community leaders about the critical need for spaying and neutering all companion animals in our community. You can make a donation by visiting www.yavapaihumane.org or by calling 928-445-2666 ext 105.

Valentine's Day Adoption Event: pick your price for the love of your life; includes any pet except those less than 6 months of age, purebreds, and dogs under 15 lbs.

Ed Boks is the executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society. He can be reached at eboks@yavapaihumane.org or by calling 928-445-2666, ext. 101.

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