Is Spaying and Neutering Your Pets a Big Deal? (by Sara Ranel)

cats 002Introduction:

My research question is ‘Why is spaying and neutering your pets so important?’ To help me fully understand this topic I volunteered with and animal adoption program for my community work.  I worked with Second Chance Companions, located inside the Gresham PetSmart.

Final Project Part 1

  • LONGCORE, TRAVIS, CATHERINE RICH, and LAUREN M. SULLIVAN. “Critical Assessment Of Claims Regarding Management Of Feral Cats By Trap–Neuter–Return.” Conservation Biology 23.4 (2009): 887-894. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

Summary (Academic): This article is all about our feral cat population and how it directly affects our environment. It is specifically about a process called Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR). It’s exactly what it sounds like. We capture feral cat, neuter them, and release them back to where we captured them. A volunteer then feeds them in the wild. This is a very controversial subject because the cats affect the rest of the natural world. A lot of scientists feel that this is something that should be dealt with by environmentalist instead of animals activists. This should be seen as an environmental issue instead of an animal rights issue.

This article directly relates to my research question (Why is it so important to alter your pets?), because we are the source of this issue. Our irresponsibility is the cause of our feral cat problem. If people simply get their animals altered, there would be far less accidental liters. We would still have to deal with all of the feral and free roaming cats, but that will be much easier to deal with once we stop adding to the problem. This article is interesting because it shows the feral cat issue in a different way. It gives a new perspective.

  • White, Sara C., Ellen Jefferson, and Julie K. Levy. “Impact Of Publicly Sponsored Neutering Programs On Animal Population Dynamics At Animal Shelters: The New Hampshire And Austin Experiences.” Journal Of Applied Animal Welfare Science 13.3 (2010): 191-212. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

Summary (Academic): This article goes over the impact of special programs that spay and neuter for the community (either at a discounted price or TNR). It goes over the difference before and after the programs started by looking at the difference in the number of pets in feral populations as well as the number of pets euthanized in shelters. It seems that it has made a difference. The number of animals in feral populations went down, instead of increasing. Also the number of pets being euthanized in shelters decreased.

      This article is important to my research because it shows what a difference altering your pets can make. It not only reduces the number of pets that are put down in the animal shelters every year, but in the feral populations as well. The article not only goes over the difference in our country, but other as well. It shows that it really is an important thing to do, not only for the pet, but for everyone in the world. Altering your pets makes a difference in the number of pets, but also in the number of problems feral pets can cause, like disease.

  • “Spay or Neuter Your Pet.” Oregon Veterinary Medical Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

Summary (Periodical): This article is all about the benefits of having your pets altered. Including many other questions you might have such as benefits, age, behavior differences, costs, and more.

            This article is extremely important to my research because it touches on all of the important pros of having your pet altered. It’s written in very straight forward language and is extremely easy to follow. This is a good piece to include in my overall research because it touches on all of the major points of my argument in a quick over view.

  • “Woodbridge Animal Hospital.” Woodbridge Animal Hospital. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Summary (Periodical): This article goes over the positives and negatives of having your pet altered, so it’s a little less one sided. It also breaks up the information by male and female.  It is also very easy to follow and gives a lot of useful information.

            I chose this article because it also listed negatives. Any good argument can acknowledge that there are other aspects to the subject. Showing the negatives as well as the positives will make it easy to see that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. This piece helps to make argument and research much stronger.


Final Project Part 2

            For my final project I decided to post onto the Oregon Humane societies website. I chose seven different pieces of information to post so I had a wide variety of theses to add to their cite.

Here’s a selection of the sites where I posted:

Authors Note: I really enjoyed researching this topic. I learned a lot of things that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I liked all of the medical reasons why we need to alter our pets. Hard facts are always hard to not acknowledge. The information that really hit home for me is going to my adoption center every week and seeing how all of the animals, while very well taken care of, are starved for attention. They never want you to leave. It’s so hard to have to out all of them back into their kennels and say goodbye. It’s like say good bye to a child locked in a cage. They didn’t do anything wrong, they simply don’t have anywhere else to go.



  1. hillarycmurphy1

    I really like the research topic that you chose! (: Spaying and neutering is so important, and many people doesn’t understand why. The amount of people not getting their pets (especially cats) fixed is a big problem in my county, and because we only have one shelter in the whole county, the consequence is hundreds of animals being put to sleep every year (and LOTS of feral cats.) In my opinion, getting your animals altered is part of being a responsible pet owner. One of my friends lives in the woods where their are lots of feral cats, and as a result of her not getting her one female cat fixed, that cat has now had about 4 litters in 5 years. I can’t understand why you wouldn’t do something so simple to avoid ending up with hundreds of cats, that will most likely end up in shelters. I am glad that most shelters won’t adopt out animals unless they’re fixed, I just wish their was some way to make sure every pet owner does so. (ironically, I just picked up my cat this morning from the vet after getting him neutered.)

    You did a really good job on this project! I love the picture you included, and your sources provide a lot of in depth information about your topic. Your introduction was to-the-point and you clearly expressed what your project was about. I also liked that you included more of an emotional side in your author’s notes when you talked about how seeing the animals in the shelter affected you. I felt that I could really connect with your experience. The only suggestion that I would make would be to post on here what you posted on the different sites for part 2, because I had trouble finding your posts. Otherwise, I really enjoyed reading your project! Great job (:

  2. I agree with Hillary. The picture and in-depth research really illuminate a lot about your research question. I would also like to see better links to your posts on the sites you mention here. Can you add those in a “reply” to this email?

  3. I thought you had a great array of research. The bulk of it was obviously about the reasons to spay or neuter, which is good, because that is the point you are trying to make. But I also thought it was great that you added the negatives to make the argument stronger. Also, as you stated in your Author’s Note, hard facts are extremely useful in argumentative writing.

    I think you did great on the project. Like Hilary said above I love the picture. I think it’s great that you are so emotional about your topic. It really makes it more colorful but also makes the argument stronger. It wouldn’t be as strong without the passion. I also agree that it took some hunting to find the posts but with that said I still think over all you did great. I would suggest that you really make sure you proof-read. There were some grammatical and spelling errors (as I found in my own when I re-read it). Still, good job Sara!

  4. I see what You are asking. Those links are to websites that I posted on The humane Society’s facebook page (like a blog post). I didn’t post to those specific websites. I used them as helpful links for other people to use for help with their own pets.

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