October is National Pet Wellness Month and this is something we’re very passionate about here at the SPCA-HC. The goal of Pet Wellness Month is to promote the health of our furry companions through education and care. There are many facets of pet wellness, but today we’ll touch on some of the most crucial ones we experience at the shelter. The statement “they are my whole life” isn’t an exaggeration for our pets. We are their only vessel of safety, love, and care – we can’t let them down.
Let’s get to the bare bones of it, spaying and neutering saves lives in multiple ways. The first being that, according to the Humane Society of the United States, cats and dogs that are spayed and neutered live on average 20% longer than their counterparts that aren’t fixed. That is the difference of a few years with your furry pal, which is truly priceless.
One of the largest reasons we see at the shelter for surrendered animals is for behavioral challenges. Did you know spaying or neutering your pet can help reduce a myriad of behavioral issues including spraying, marking, aggression, and roaming? Not only can spaying and neutering decrease unsafe behaviors, but it can also prevent unsafe diseases and cancers. Intact female cats and dogs have an increased risk of developing fatal uterine infections, as well as other reproductive system cancers.
There is an overpopulation crisis among homeless animals. Your contribution of spaying and neutering your pets can make a significant impact on this crisis. 1 cat and it’s litter can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years, and 1 dog and it’s litter can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years. Shelters across the country are having to turn animals away due to being over-capacity, and prevention of future litters can save the lives of animals that need help now.
When most people hear about pet vaccinations, they often think of the puppy/kitten vaccine regimens that are so heavily stressed. However, once your pet is an adult, their vaccines should be continued annually or every few years depending on your vet and their recommendations. It may seem like a pain to keep up with, but vaccinations prevent many costly pet illnesses and help avoid expensive treatments for preventable diseases. We understand vet care can be expensive and we are happy to share that there are various low-cost vaccination clinics in Maine that can help keep your pet healthy!
For assistance with vaccinations, please reach out to these local resources:
The SPCA of Hancock County has no affiliation with these vaccination clinics. If you have any questions or concerns, please seek guidance from your veterinarian regarding vaccination schedules and recommendations.
Flea and tick preventative is something we here at the SPCA-HC are especially passionate about this month, as we’ve had a sweet dog come into our care who is facing significant medical struggles as a result of tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis.
Bessie came to us recently and immediately captured our hearts! She is a gorgeous adult Bluetick Coonhound and is around 5 years old. Despite only being 5, she has already lived a long life, as she’s already had a few litters of puppies. This mama is ready for a life of relaxation and rest … other than when she wants to sniff around and explore her curiosities, like a true hound! This gentle girl is sweet as pie. Unfortunately, Bessie is currently struggling with multiple tick-borne illnesses, as well as endocarditis. Bessie doesn’t feel her best right now, but she’s receiving all the care we can give her. Please remember to keep pets up to date on preventative care.
While ticks are typically the ones associated with the scary diseases, it’s just as important to keep flees off your furry friends. Fleas cause incredible discomfort and skin irritation, and can even cause severe allergic reactions in both pets and people. Fleas carry various diseases, including cat scratch disease and flea tapeworm – trust us, it’s as gross as it sounds. Please consult your vet on the best flea and tick preventative for your pet, and keep away the flea and tick ick!
Information is power! The more we can share resources and information with the community, the more pets can be helped. Your knowledge is powerful too, please help to kindly and compassionately share the importance of pet wellness – people can’t fix what they don’t know is a problem. We understand that life gets in the way, money is a factor, and appointments can feel daunting. If this is the case for you, take this as your sign to get back on track with your pet’s wellness and veterinary care. Please reference the resources above for low-cost vaccination clinics if for any reason you are unable to afford care costs. We’re here to help! We have a low-income spay and neuter certificate program for cats here at the SPCA-HC, and you can find more spay and neuter resources at spaymaine.org.
Let’s continue working together to keep our companions happy, healthy, and loved!