Companion Animal Overpopulation Study
A 1997 survey by the Pecos People for Animal Welfare Society in New Mexico found that most common reason for not having a companion animal spayed or neutered was that the animal was thought to be too young or too old. The findings suggest there is an ongoing need for public education of the benefits of spay/neuter for both animals and caretakers.
- 89% of respondents had at least one companion animal; 23% had five or more.
- Of the households surveyed, 64% reported that all female companion animals were spayed, and 49% reported that all male companion animals were neutered.
- For unaltered female animals, 19% reported no litters, 81% reported 1 to 4 litters.
- 51% of respondents said they knew about a local low-cost spay/neuter program.
- “Hispanics” were less likely to be aware of local spay/neuter programs than “Anglo” respondents.
- When asked what they would like to see done to reduce animal-related problems, or to improve the welfare of animals in the area, the most frequently endorsed need was to reduce companion animal overpopulation (54% of respondents), followed closely by the need to enforce local ordinances against cruelty and neglect (51%).
Common reasons sited for not spaying/neutering an animal included:
- Animal considered too young or too old. (20%)
- For male animals, owner saw no need to neuter companion animal because the animal didn’t roam or cause problems. (19%)
- Owner wanted to breed the animal and sell the offspring. (15%)
- Sterilization might harm the animal’s health. (8%)
- Cost of sterilization. (5%)
- Don’t believe in sterilization. (1%)