World Spay Day 2017 – What every pet owner can do to make a difference.

World Spay Day is held on the last Tuesday of every February & raises awareness on the importance of sterilising pets such as dogs, cats and rabbits. This is in an effort to tackle the current global problem of pet overpopulation which we are experiencing.

How spaying/neutering your pet will help to reduce the population of unwanted pets?

There will always be the debate among pet owners as to why they shouldn’t spay or neuter their pets. That being said, there are proven health and behavioural benefits such as:

  • reduced spraying & marking
  • reduced chance of roaming (in both females & males)
  • reduced aggression
  • lower risk of cancer (mammary & testicular) and lower risk of infection.
  • increased lifespan of up to 3 – 5 years

Sterilisation eliminates the risk of animals reproducing, thereby decreasing the population of unwanted animals. 

Regardless of whether you intend to breed with your pet (which I strongly discourage if you are not an experienced & registered breeder) or you believe that your pet will never get out of the property & therefore never sire or produce a litter, by not sterilising you could inadvertently be adding to the problem we are experiencing with an overpopulation of unwanted animals in shelters globally.

The sad truth – there are more pets than homes.

Annually millions of stray & unwanted animals end up in animal shelters around the world. Although many of them do find new homes, many more are sadly either euthanised or remain in shelters for the remainder of their lives.

Assisting communities in need.

In South Africa (& many other countries worldwide), there are lower income areas where pets are in desperate need of basic veterinary care including sterilisation. In these communities uncontrolled breeding has lead to an overpopulation & with an absence of resources, animals are not being vaccinated or provided with basic veterinary care. This leads to the persistence of treatable illnesses such biliary, mange, ticks, fleas and worms & there is a increased risk too of young animals contracting diseases like parvo-virus & distemper (in dogs), feline panleukopenia, feline AIDS (in cats) and rabies to name a few.

We are fortunate in South Africa to have a number of non-profit organisations working tirelessly in these communities to vaccinate & sterilise animals & educate on basic pet care.

Spay Day at Orange Grove Vet!

Orange Grove Vet is proud to be associated with a number of local organisation such as Animal Anti Cruelty League Johannesburg, Community Veterinary Clinics (CVC), Sandton SPCA, Kitty & Puppy Haven and Animal Allies who are involved in re-homing and/or sterilising animals. At Orange Grove Vet, we not only make regular donations, but provide free and/or reduced cost sterlisations & treatment to these welfare organisations on an ongoing basis.

Over the past 3 years Orange Grove Vet has partnered with Animal Allies for their annual Spay Day campaign, where over a 4 week period the organisation sterilises as many dogs and cats from low income communities & townships across Gauteng. Orange Grove Vet will  continue to support this campaign.

What can you do to make a difference?

There are a number of ways you, as a pet owner can reach out and make a difference.

  • Ensure your own pet/s are sterilised and by doing they cannot add to growing population of unwanted animals.
  • Educate others to the importance of pet sterilisation.
  • Adopt from an animal shelter! Don’t buy a puppy or kitten from a pet shop (this will only encourage backyard breeders).
  • Support non-profit organisations working in our community (click here for the link of organisations mentioned above).

 Final thoughts…

This article is aimed at creating awareness around the global issue of pet overpopulation. There are many responsible and reputable breeders who breed pedigree dogs & cats and the majority of we applaud them.

However the vast majority of pet owners, are not breeders and accidental litters happen. Those accidental litters have lasting repercussions, as both the parents & their offspring continue to reproduce, leading to unwanted animals in shelters.


The diagram clearly demonstrates how sterilising one animal can make a huge impact and what the consequences of one unwanted litter can produce! As pet owners, we all have a moral and societal obligation to be part or the solution, not the problem. Please share this article this Spay Day!

In recognition of World Spay Day on the 28th of February 2017, Orange Grove Vet is offering a 10% discount when you sterilise your pet between the 6th of February & 31 March 2017! 

To book your pet in for sterilisation call (011) 728 – 1371 or email Sterilisation procedure available for cats, dogs & rabbits. Quotations on request.

Candice Segal
Pet Care Advisor
Orange Grove Vet



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