Neutering before adoption is good for the animals, good for shelters and rescue groups, good for caretakers, and good for the community. Placing intact cats and dogs in homes with a neutering deposit is counterproductive because it leads to more puppies and kittens being born, more animals being abandoned or relinquished to a shelter, longer shelter stays for surrendered or stray animals, and more animals dying or being euthanized in a shelter.
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Neutering before adoption is good for the animals because neutered cats and dogs are more likely to be adopted than intact ones,[i] intact cats and dogs are more likely to be relinquished to a shelter,[ii] and are more likely to stray from their home.[iii]
Neutering before adoption is good for the shelter or rescue group because neutered cats and dogs are more likely to be adopted, less likely to stray from their home or be relinquished to a shelter, and less likely to be euthanized in a shelter.
Neutering before adoption is good for caretakers because neutered cats and dogs are less likely to have behavior problems that lead a caretaker to relinquish the animal to a shelter, less likely to stray from home, and neutered dogs are less likely to bite people.[iv]
Neutering before adoption is good for the community because it leads to fewer animals being abandoned, fewer straying from home, and fewer being relinquished to a shelter. It also reduces injuries from dog bites.
A high percentage of people who adopt an intact dog or cat from a shelter or rescue group with a neutering deposit fail to have the animal sterilized[v] leading to more cats and dogs entering shelters, staying there longer, and dying there.
[i] Merry Lepper, Philip H. Kass, and Lynette A. Hart, “Prediction of Adoption Versus Euthanasia Among Dogs and Cats in a California Animal Shelter,” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 5 (1) (2002), 36; Jaime Clevenger and Philip H. Kass, “Determinants of Adoption and Euthanasia of Shelter Dogs Spayed or Neutered in the University of California Veterinary Student Surgery Program Compared to Other Shelter Dogs, “ Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 30 (4) (2003), 376.
[ii] Gary J. Patronek et al., “Risk factors for relinquishment of cats to an animal shelter,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 209 (3) (1996), 586; Gary J. Patronek et al., “Risk factors for the relinquishment of dogs to an animal shelter,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical association 209 (3), (1996), 578; John C. New, Jr. et al., “Characteristics of Shelter-Relinquished Animals and Their Owners Compared With Animals and Their Owners in U. S. Pet-Owning Households,” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 3 (3) (2000), 185.
[iii] Jacqueline C. Neilson, Robert. A. Eckstein, and B. L. Hart, “Effects of castration on problem behaviors in male dogs with reference to age and duration of behavior,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 211 (2) (1997), 181; See Jennifer. L. Wallace and Julie. K. Levy, “Population characteristics of feral cats admitted to seven trap-neuter-return programs in the United States,” Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 8 (4) (2006) 279.
[iv] Gary J. Patronek et al., “Co-occurrence of potentially preventable factors in 256 dog-bite related fatalities in the United States (2000-2009),” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243 (12) (2013),1730; Carrie M. Shuler et al., “Canine and human factors related to dog bite injuries,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 232 (4) (2008), 544.
[v] S. A. Alexander and S. M. Shane, “Characteristics of animals adopted from an animal control center whose owners complied with a spaying/neutering deposit program,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 205 (3) (1994), 472-476.