‘Animal-Friendly’ License Plates Help Fund Low-Cost Sterilization Programs | Entertainment/Life

Thousands of animals enter Louisiana shelters each year. One of the main reasons is that people don’t neuter their pets.

Pet overpopulation isn’t just the result of raising homeless animals. It is also a big problem because of unwanted pet puppies and kittens.

More than 2.7 million healthy adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized each year in shelters. Sterilization is the only permanent and 100% effective method of contraception for dogs and cats.

One of the reasons pet owners don’t spay their pets is a lack of education about why it’s so important.

Another factor is financial. Some pet owners may not be able to afford the costs of the surgery. However, there are several low cost options.

The Jefferson SPCA and the Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic offer affordable sterilization programs, some of which are made possible through grants.

One program to help fund low-cost care is the Louisiana Pet Overpopulation Advisory Council’s “Animal Friendly” license plate initiative.

The council was formed in 2002 and license plate production began in 2006. The extra $50 from each plate goes to the council, which then distributes grants each year to Louisiana-based veterinary clinics or humanitarian groups to support their sterilization at low cost. /neutral initiatives.

The board distributes approximately $25,000 per year. To purchase an Animal Friendly license plate, visit any Office of Motor Vehicles or order online.

For shelters and rescues to be eligible for a grant, they must apply by September 30. Nominations can be downloaded and submitted online through the council’s website. You can also learn how to get your “Animal Friendly” license plate there. Visit www.louisianapetoverpopulation.org.

Benefits of sterilization

Not only does neutering and neutering help control the pet population, it also has positive health and behavioral benefits for pets.

Females will live longer and healthier.

Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which are fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Sterilization of an animal before its first heat offers the best protection against these diseases.

DID YOU KNOW: Although cycles can vary, female cats generally come into heat four to five days every three weeks during the breeding season. To attract mates, they will make “cat calls” and urinate more frequently – this can include places inside your home, outside the litter box.

Benefits of sterilization

Castration offers major health and behavioral benefits for men.

In addition to preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer if done before 6 months of age.

Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to marking. Although it is most commonly associated with male dogs, females can do it too. Castration or sterilization should reduce the marking and may stop it completely.

For cats, the urge to spray is strong in an intact cat, and the easiest solution is to have it neutered at 4 months of age before there is even a problem. Neutering solves 90% of all marking problems, even in cats that have been doing it for a while.

It can also minimize howling, wandering, and aggression toward other males.

DID YOU KNOW: An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate. This includes digging its way under or climbing over a fence. Homelessness brings new risks of injury in traffic or by humans, and fights with other animals.

Other behavioral issues that can be eliminated through neutering include:

  • Aggression (studies also show that most dog bites involve dogs that are unmodified)
  • Excessive barking
  • Mounting and other dominance-related behaviors.

Not only is sterilization the responsible thing to do, but in some areas it is the law. The City of New Orleans requires all dogs 6 months and older to be neutered or neutered or have an intact dog license. This law was created to help reduce the number of homeless animals in New Orleans.

Traci D. Howerton is the volunteer coordinator of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a volunteer-based nonprofit shelter. For more information about ARNO, visit animalrescueneworleans.org.