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The Importance Of Sterilization


At APA Nerja – Esperanza we are setting up a campaign for permanent sterilization. We will keep you informed. Sterilizing your animal comes with great rewards. Do not contribute to the abandonment, avoid the overpopulation… Sterilize, it’s the right thing to do!

Why sterilize?

First of all we must consider the current situation in Spain involving the overpopulation of animal companions. Too many dogs and cats do not receive love; its owners get tired of taking care of them and they end up being abandoned. Discarded litters are found in containers, by roads, and even in the middle of the countryside. Countless pets die in the streets from hunger, disease or accident in absolute solitude. Others end up in animal shelters, where they are fed and controlled by a veterinarian, but they still lack something essential: a home and the love of an owner. Without these many of them end up dying of loneliness/grief. And those that live need a home more than we can imagine. You can help end this tragedy by making sure your animal companion does not contribute to the overpopulation. Remember that even if you find a home for the puppies of your dog or your cat, you are taking away opportunities for others to be adopted. Also, sterilizing your animal provides many benefits for his/her health:


In males:

– Reduces aggressiveness

– Removes the need for dominance

– Prevents potential prostate problems

– Reduces sexual anxiety and the instinct to search for a female

In cats:

– It reduces the marking with urine.

– Increases life expectancy by ruling out possible diseases.

– According to the American Journal of Veterinarian Research the longevity of a dog that has been castrated increases by 24% and for a cat by 36%.


In females:

– Prevents psychological pseudogestacion or “phantom pregnancy”.

– Terminates the periods in heat and, with that the loss of blood.

– Reduces the instinct to search for a male, and the sexual anxiety that comes with being in heat.

– Prevents the development of breast tumors, infections of the uterus and ovarian cysts


What is it?

It is a very simple surgical intervention performed under general anesthesia, and involves the removal of the reproductive organs. It is a minimum risk operation, and the animal will fully recover within two to three days.



When to sterilize?

Females: From the age of 12 months (after the first heat)

Male Dogs: From the age of 12 months (large breeds: 18 months)

Cats: From the age of 7 or 8 months


False Beliefs

“I’m denying my pet its sexual pleasure..” – We cannot remove what does not exist. Animals (with a few exceptions, such as the great apes) do not experience sexuality as humans do, due to the absence of the emotional development that it implies. For an animal, sex is just a physical process of reproduction. If eating and drinking is the guarantee of the survival of the individual, the sex is for the permanence of their species. In man sex is an end in itself, in the rest of the animals the sole purpose remains to conceive a baby. The clearest proof is that the female only accepts the mount when in heat, that is to say, when her body has a hormonal requirement. Lacking this, she will resist sex and may reject the male aggressively, which shows that for her there is no pleasure related to the sexual act. It is purely a hormonal necessity. In the same way, the males only mate when they the receive chemical information from a female in heat.

“I’ve heard they tend to gain a lot of weight..” – An animal that is improperly fed will get fat, independent of any medical procedures. Therefore we should be concerned with controlling their food and facilitate appropriate physical exercise to maintain their health at all times. If an animal is going to be operated on and has a tendency to gain weight, the veterinarian will give you specific instructions to avoid that. In addition, low-calorie (light) animal food is now readily available at supermarkets.

“Females should give birth at least once..” -This statement is completely false. We are talking about hormonal and chemical processes, so if they are neutered they will have no need to reproduce, and therefore will not suffer undesirable pregnancies, and inherent psychological stress or anxiety. The “motherinstinct” in females disappears completely (along with all the problems that it can cause) with the OVH (ovariohysterectomy = neutering).

“They say it changes their character..” After castration the only behavior that changes as a direct consequence of the procedure is hormonal behaviour, like marking/flagging and territoriality in males. It is fallacious that they lose any of their vitality, intelligence, or desire to play.

“ It’s so expensive..” – The cost of this surgery will be a bargain compared to the total sum of the expenses involved in a two month pregnancy and an additional two months of puppy care, with its peak consumption of medication and special foods, and costs of potential complications, etc. In addition you will save on the issues they would have encountered had they not been operated. In the case of the males, high costs are involved with cures, treatments and in some cases, operations, resulting from injuries, infections and accidents incurred by participating in territorial fights. Also, consider the suffering of owners when their pets run away from home in search of females in heat and are exposed to all sorts of dangers on the street or in the countryside.

“But it is a purebred!” – In this group every one out of four animals ends up on the street, in a kennel or a shelter, so try another argument. Then there is another thing that on many occasions affects the purebreds, and is infinitely more cruel: When an owner disposes of their pet when it has become old, sick, or both things at once, just because they are no longer in a position to “set the tone” with him and his pedigree.

“I want a litter by my own pet..” – Your pets offspring will not be a precise photocopy. Forget it. It is understandable that you would want to prolong the existence of the animal you adore as long as possible, even forever. There will never be another like it, that’s true. But that is why you should look no further, instead of trying to replace him/her with another from his bloodline. Let the relationship be special and unique, and when they are gone, take the time you need until you can share your life with another. And sure, it will be a different animal, but it will also become special and unique, and you will come to love him or her in the same way, without replacing the first which will remain in your heart forever. Another animal will come with the sole intention of sharing her life with you, and will enrich you with new good times.

“I will take full responsibility for the offspring..”: We do not doubt your good intentions, but consider this: You will have a litter that you will divide among people close to you, geographically as well as emotionally.. Each one of these people has the right to pursue the same dream, and will continue to raise new litters. Can you guarantee that these thousands of animals will benefit from your initial dream? If you’re concerned about the offspring of your beloved animal, that carry its blood and might come to an agonizing end; dying of hunger or disease, being abandoned, or sacrificed in a kennel, or tying to live the rest of their life with an owner who mistreats them, poisoned, hanged, or used for profit in dogfights at the cost of their well-being, then be truly responsible, and prevent this from happening

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