The General Veterinary Clinic, located on business highway 24 & 36, will be offering discounted prices for animals needing to be spayed or neutered. The vet clinic will be offering services with a 20 percent discount on February 14.

Anyone interested in having their pet spayed or neutered would need to call the office at (573)735-4500 and make an appointment. The office is requesting the appointment be made 72 hours in advance for the service.

Homeless animals are a global problem. Overpopulation continues to plague dogs and cats, and there are as many as 300,000 homeless animals euthanized in animal shelters every year, says The Humane Society of the United States. While many would be quick to assume these are puppies and kittens of “street” animals, the society notes that euthanized animals are often the offspring of family pets - even pure breeds.

Spaying females and neutering males is the most effective method of birth control for these popular pets. Preventing unwanted offspring might be the main reason many pet owners spay or neuter their pets. But there are many additional reasons that make spaying and neutering a good decision.

Studies have shown neutered male dogs live 18 percent longer than dogs that were not neutered, while spayed female dogs live 23 percent longer than those that are not spayed. Neutering reduces the instinct to roam and get into trouble, which may contribute to the longer life expectancy.

Neutering can help prevent testicular cancer in male pets. Spayed females will not go into heat. During heat, which can occur four to five days at a time every three weeks during mating season, females may yowl and urinate around the house. Non-neutered male dogs and cats may mark their territory with urine and can be more aggressive during mating seasons. Neutering can help calm the animals.

The Humane Society of the United States recommends neutering and spaying is the best way to prevent overpopulation and improves the chances that shelter pets will be adopted.

Contrary to popular belief, spaying and neutering pets will not cause weight gain. As long as pet parents continue to provide exercise and control their pets’ diets, pets will remain fit and in good health.

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