Spay and Neuter

City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control strongly encourages pet owners to spay or neuter their companion animals. A spay is a surgery for a female pet that results in the female no longer being able to reproduce. Similarly, a neuter is a surgery for a male pet that results in the male no longer being able to reproduce.

Animal Care and Control works with several organizations that offer low-cost spay/neuter and other related services. To view the list of these organizations, click here.

Top 10 Reasons to Fix (Spay/Neuter) Your Dogs and Cats

  1. You will save thousands of lives. Failing to spay/neuter is the biggest cause of pet overpopulation, suffering and euthanasia. Over 65,000—the number of offspring one un-spayed/un-neutered dog (or cat) and his/her intact mate can produce in about six years if none of their offspring are spayed/neutered.
  2. There are not enough people to adopt all of the animals that are being created. Your unwanted litter will most likely end up in a shelter where it had a 50% chance to be euthanized.
  3. Your dog or cat will be better behaved, and less likely to roam, howl, spray and jump the fence.
  4. Your dog or cat will be healthier and happier. Fixed dogs and cats have a longer expected lifespan and will have less chance of developing certain cancers and other life threatening illnesses.
  5. You will save money. It is expensive to care for unwanted litters and the medical treatment associated (unfixed dogs and cats have more medical problems). Rabies tag/licensing fees are much  lower in St. Louis City and County for fixed animals.
  6. Your pet will be less likely to attract unwanted strays to your home or property.
  7. You will eliminate female heat (menstrual) cycles and the inconvenience involved. Heat cycles can last up to four weeks.
  8. Spayed and neutered pets are more adaptable to your home and family.
  9. Spaying/neutering is a simple outpatient surgery with a quick recovery.
  10. There are low cost spay/neuter programs.


(Saint Louis PetLover Coalition, 2012)