Early spay/neuter

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What is American Humane Association’s view on spaying and neutering young animals?

American Humane Association fully supports early (i.e., prepubescent) spaying and neutering. The research on the physical, behavioral, and short- and long-term effects of prepubescent neutering in dogs and cats shows no adverse results. American Humane Association supports this practice as a feasible solution to decreasing pet overpopulation and the tragedy of resulting deaths.

Our position is in line with an in-depth article in the February 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Vol. 224, No. 3, pages 372-379). The article discusses the long-term risks and benefits of early-age neutering among cats and reports no association between increased rates of death or medical or behavioral conditions and early-age neutering. An article in the July 1997 issue of this journal reports similar findings for dogs (Vol. 211, No. 2, page 180-182).

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