Woulda, coulda, shoulda. You had the best of intentions to spay your pet, but now you unexpectedly find yourself with eight new sets of tiny paws in the house and don’t know what to do.
You’re not alone. Most unplanned litters are born because pet owners don’t realize that ‘babies’ can have babies of their own. Female dogs can breed as early as six months and cats as early as four months.
Pets also reproduce at alarmingly fast rates. Did you know that female dogs can breed twice a year with litters of six to 10 puppies? Cats can breed three times a year with an average of four kittens per litter. In seven years, one unspayed female dog and her offspring can produce 99,000 dogs. In that same timeframe, one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats!
The answer to accidental litters and pet overpopulation is to spay and neuter your pets early. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association recommends spaying and neutering your pets around five months of age. But it’s never too late and the Nova Scotia SPCA can help.
The SPCA is committed to decreasing the number of homeless and unwanted pets in the province. Their goal is to stop the conception of unwanted litters, and to ensure that every companion animal has a forever home and is not left out in the cold to fend for themselves.
Expanding on their current spay/neuter assistance programs, the SPCA is launching a new P.U.P. Program which stands for Prevent Unwanted Pets. The program’s goal is to remove obstacles for families by helping them get their pet spayed to permanently stop unwanted litters.
If you have, or will soon have, a litter of puppies or kittens in your home and are concerned you will be unable to manage, call the SPCA. The SPCA will accept the kittens or puppies into the P.U.P. Program, find them loving homes and provide a spay surgery for the mother, all free of charge.
The SPCA will work with you and your family to ensure that all the litter’s needs are met. In the best interest of the babies’ medical needs and behavioural development, it is preferred to keep litters with their mothers until they are approximately seven weeks of age.
Once the litter is of age, the SPCA will vaccinate, vet check, spay and neuter, place the puppies and kittens in loving homes and spay the mother before returning her to the family, all free of charge. If it’s impossible to keep the litter comfortable and safe, in special circumstances the SPCA will arrange for pickup for temporary placement with foster parents who specialize in puppy and kitten care.
To participate in the P.U.P. Program, call the SPCA (toll-free: 1-844-835-4798) for an appointment so that they can make arrangements to help meet your pets’ needs. Since the SPCA anticipates a positive response to this program, it’s important to call them as soon as possible so they can plan and co-ordinate the support you require.
Accidental litters can happen no matter how vigilant you are. The SPCA can provide a solution to families with its two veterinary hospitals. The SPCA provides a safe haven for all vulnerable animals with nowhere else to go, including puppies, kittens and pregnant mothers. Animals are given affection, care and a roof over their heads until they find new forever homes.
Please make the world a better place for animals. Stop ‘littering.’