With so many homeless, abandoned and feral cats living in our communities, our parade float in the Pleasant Hill 4th of July Parade raised awareness in our community about the tremendous need for spaying and neutering cats.
Champions of Spaying and Neutering Cats
The 4th of July is associated with loads of venerable traditions including town parades, barbecues, picnics, fireworks, and events paying tribute to our nation’s independence. For me, this July 4th commemorated my first ever town parade that I participated in and one with a very important message to communicate—the need for spaying and neutering cats!
Our formal float name was the “Champions of Spaying and Neutering our Animals.” Our float was the creative idea of a woman in my cat rescue group who is a luminary in planning and executing events and has a history of participating in town parades. As visionaries do, she saw in her mind exactly how to visually communicate the message of spaying and neutering to a large audience, then took action to fulfill her idea. Prevent a Litter, Fix Your Critter!
Our signs, which we held proudly on tall posts and also wore on sandwich boards read “If You See a Stray, Spay Today!,” and “Save Lives! Spay & Neuter!,” and “Prevent a Litter, Fix Your Critter.” We also towed two wagons (our float), the first one carrying a male and female cat with an equals sign pointing to the second wagon carrying a cage full of stuffed cats literally exploding through the cage displaying the slogan, “370,000 in 7 Years,” which is a metric from several animal welfare non-profits that highlights how many kittens one single unsprayed female is ultimately responsible for producing in seven years.
Benefits of Spaying and Neutering
We also handed out two fliers — one with the contact information for low cost spay and neuter for pets in the community and for feral and free-roaming cats in the community, and another information sheet with the leading reasons to spay and neuter your pet.
The benefits for spay and neuter are numerous—starting with reducing the number of healthy, adoptable pets euthanized each year in U.S. shelters due to an overpopulation of cats and dogs in this country. Tragically, a staggering 12 million unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the U.S.—and even more are abandoned and left homeless to suffer.
Reasons to Spay and Neuter
I believe there are at least 370,000+ reasons to spay and neuter your cat—some of the leading reasons include:
- Spayed and neutered cats live far healthier lives.
- Spayed female cats can’t get uterine cancers; and mammary cancer is reduced by 25%.
- Spayed female cats are less prone to getting urinary tract infections.
- Neutered male cats can’t get testicular cancer.
- Spayed and neutered cats live longer lives and don’t wander, but want to stay home.
- When cats are spayed and neutered they fight less, decreasing their risk of acquiring FIV, FELV and getting seriously injured.
- Cat urine spraying and marking is reduced.
- Aggression toward other cats is reduced.
- Spaying and neutering is good for the community, reducing the number of cats on the street.
- Spaying and neutering reduces the serious problem of overpopulation of cats in the U.S. and reduces the amount of suffering experienced by homeless, abandoned, and stray cats.
So the next 4th of July, I hope to be there again with our spay and neuter float in the Pleasant Hill town parade, getting the message out to the community how important it is to spay and neuter cats. But in the meantime, I will continue to work on trapping feral and homeless cats, spaying and neutering them, and finding homes for the adoptable homeless domestics. And I will continue working our county spay/neuter (SNIP) all-day events held at our local animal shelter.
Really, I will do anything to reduce the suffering experienced by homeless, abandoned, and feral cats, and reduce the horrific euthanasia rates that occur at every animal shelter in this country. Let’s instead create a nation where every pet owner is responsible for spaying and neutering their pets, and every cat and dog has a home.