Spay Aware News | June 2019


ISPCA launches SpayAware “It's Better to Neuter” campaign encouraging pet owners to be responsible.

  • Spaying can reduce the risk of certain cancers and have a positive effect on health and lifespan for animals
  • It also decreases the number of unwanted animals that end up abandoned or in shelters
  • The ISPCA and Veterinary Ireland encourage pet owners to talk to their vet as soon as possible for expert advice

Neutering your pet(s) can prevent illness and some unwanted behaviours and the ISPCA is appealing to pet owners to spay or neuter their pets as early as possible, emphasising the positive benefits and the most effective way to control pet overpopulation. The charity is asking the public to “Stop The Suffering” and talk to their vet as soon as possible for expert advice.

Dr. Pete Wedderburn, veterinary surgeon and Trustee of the ISPCA or better known as Pete the Vet, advocates for the Spaying and Neutering of pets stating: “Itís the most effective way to prevent accidental litters of kittens and puppies being born, emphasizing the appropriate time based for your pets specific breed and individual needs, so please discuss this with to your vet today and get the procedure done”.

Pete added: “There are still numerous misconceptions surrounding spaying and neutering dogs for example some owners believe that neutering their pet could negatively impact its health, personality or can be a dangerous or an unaffordable procedure Ė this is not true. Spaying female dogs and cats removes the risk of ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the chances of breast cancer. Neutering male dogs and cats lowers the risk of prostate cancer. Plus, neutered pets are less likely to want to wander off or get into fights so please make an informed decision, to do whatís right for your pet”.

ISPCA CEO, Dr Cyril Sullivan said: “We are encouraging pet owners to consider the positive benefits of getting this procedure done, ensuring that you are in no way contributing to the over-population problem, which is having a serious impact on animal welfare charity resources. We are currently dealing with a dog welfare crisis, as many people who got a puppy during the pandemic, now have found that their circumstances have changed, and are looking to surrender their pets for various reasons, some of these dogs are not spayed or neutered. one solution is neutering or spaying, preventing accidental litters from being born in the first place and ending up in rescue centres”.

Best-selling author, model and ISPCA Ambassador Rosanna Davison is supporting the ISPCAís “StopTheSuffering” SpayAware message, highlighting the many benefits of neutering or spaying your pets: “We can all make a difference by doing the right thing, by getting them spayed or neutered as early as possible, giving them the best chance of a longer, healthier, and happier life”.

SpayAware has the continued support of Veterinary Ireland, with many veterinary practices providing fact sheets in animal clinics and surgeries across the country. The message is simple; when you get a new pet, be sure to discuss spaying or neutering with your vet. Spaying or Neutering is important for two reasons: first, for the sake of your petís health and behaviour, and second, to help combat Irelandís resurgence in overpopulation of cats and dogs. Visit for more information about spaying or neutering your pet.

The ISPCA is also recommending anyone thinking about getting a new pet to give a rescued animal a chance by adopting a dog or cat from the ISPCA or another animal welfare charity. All ISPCA rescued cats and dogs will already be spayed or neutered and puppies/kittens will be when they are old enough. For more information about adopting a dog from the ISPCA, visit

Some facts about the benefits of spaying and neutering your pet:

  • Reduces the risk of certain cancers
  • Positive effect on health and lifespan
  • Curbs unwanted behaviour and marking
  • Your pet will be less aggressive towards other cats and dogs and less likely to try and wander
  • Prevents unwanted litters of kittens and puppies
  • Spaying reduces the risk of mammary cancers in female dogs from 70% to 0.5% if they are spayed before first heat
  • -spayed cats are seven times more likely to develop mammary cancers than those spayed at puberty. 80% of feline mammary tumours are malignant.
  • Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer among male dogs. Neutering eliminates that risk.
  • Neutering reduces fighting and unwanted territorial behaviour in male cats by over 80%.
  • Spaying/Neutering is a very simple procedure completed under anaesthetic and the recovery time is usually very quick. Your cat or dog will need to be dropped off at the vets, and picked up again later that same day.
  • Puppies should be neutered or spayed at five to six months of age, though large or giant dog breeds require more time to develop so you should always seek advice from your vet.
  • Kittens should be neutered or spayed at four months of age.

Speak to your vet about what is best for your pet.