Thursday, June 13, 2013


Hello, Amber, and welcome to my blog.I understand you want to tell us about a pet subject of yours today, and of course I mean that two ways.
 First of all, thank you so much Lorrie for hosting me today on your awesome blog. It’s great to be here.

I absolutely adore cats.
Currently, I am a mother to five furry ninjas who think THEY own the house, and I just live there. Each of my kitties possesses their own personality and they make my life crazy sometimes, but I’m not here to talk about how wonderfully sweet they are (cough cough---mean little devils). Instead, let’s talk about the best thing a pet owner can do for their pets: spaying and neutering them.
But what are spay/neuters, you might ask? Well, in a nutshell, spaying is the removal of the ovaries and uterus from a female animal and neutering is the removal of the testicles from the male animal. Spaying requires minimal hospitalization and neutering is out-patient surgery.
There are several benefits of spaying. Female dogs and cats no longer desire to roam about in search of a mate as often as they once did. Even though most people believe spaying eliminates an animal’s heat cycle, every spayed female dog or cat I cared for still went into heat, but not as often and with less bad behavior. Spaying also reduces the risk of mammary gland tumors and eliminates uterine and ovarian cancer, especially if done before the first heat cycle which usually begins at the age of five or six months. The animals are also less prone to urinary tract infections. Spaying obviously reduces the number of unwanted puppies and kittens, which saves thousands from ending up in high-kill shelters or from living a rough life as an unwanted stray. Last but not least, spayed dogs and cats have the opportunity to live healthier, longer lives.
The benefits of neutering male dogs and cats are just as important. Neutered males are less aggressive and they don’t spray as often, if at all, to mark their territory. Neutered males are still able to perform sexually but they no longer want or need the company of females as much as they once did. With a reduced desire to roam, becoming injured in fights or auto accidents is less likely, as well as being lost or stolen. There is also an eliminated risk of testicular cancer and decreased risk of prostate disease. And, as with females, neutering prevents unwanted puppies and kittens so the dogs and cats already alive in the world have a better chance to live a longer, safer life.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that shelters euthanize around 4 million cats and dogs each year. That’s about an animal every eight seconds or 70,000 a day. Even though that number sounds far too high, statistics don’t lie. Plus, it costs taxpayers and private humanitarian agencies approximately 2 billion dollars a year to capture/provide shelter/food/medical treatment for these animals and to pay for the euthanasia that claims their lives.

According to a HSUS report from 1973, 13 million animals were euthanized per year before the public became aware of the overpopulation problem and began spaying/neutering their pets. Even though the number has dropped, it’s not good enough.
Spaying and neutering is cheap compared to the nationwide price of euthanasia listed above. Depending on where you live and your income level, spays or neuters can range from $60 to $100. Low income programs are available in most small towns and large cities alike that offer surgery for free or at a very low cost.

The procedures are very safe. Licensed veterinarians along with vet aids perform the surgeries after administering general anesthesia to the animals. Your pets do not feel any pain but may experience some soreness after the surgery which will last for just a few hours to a few days. Ask the vet for medication if you are concerned about possible discomfort.
Cats and dogs are eligible for surgery at eight-weeks-old. Most females can have two or three litters a year, anywhere from one to ten babies per litter (or more!), and the males can impregnate as many un-spayed females as they can find. Just think about those numbers! Since cats can become pregnant as young as five months old, and dogs as young as six months old, it’s best to schedule the appointment as soon as possible. Remember, the younger the animal is, the faster he/she will heal.
If you have female pets that recently gave birth, wait until she weaned the babies before spaying her. It’s possible that the nursing mother could become pregnant again so it’s a good idea to keep her away from unneutered males. Or you could just get the males neutered, and then get her spayed at a later date!
If you believe she will become pregnant again before she weaned the litter, a vet can perform a ‘Flank Spay’, which is more expensive and intrusive than a regular spay. Instead of removing the reproductive organs from an incision in the lower abdomen (where the milk ducts are), a vet can remove them on the left side of the cat’s body. That way, the lactating momma can still nurse without her babies possibly causing damage to her healing incision. Otherwise, she may refuse to nurse them and then the babies could starve, if not given milk supplements.

You can also spay a cat or dog if she’s pregnant. During surgery, the vet removes the uterus and embryos, hence terminating the pregnancy. That’s a tough choice to make but with all the unwanted animals out there, and the difficult process it is to find good, caring homes, it might be the best choice. Anyhow, it’s your decision to make.
 Some people believe that only females require sterilization. While it’s true that females carry and give birth, it takes TWO to tango! Now, if your pet is in-door only and you do not worry about possible behavioral or physical problems, then save your money and don’t call a vet. Intact animals can live rich, wonderful lives without the surgery. But if your boys pee on the wall or scratches the furniture or your girls yowl while in heat and backs her booty against the wall, then call a vet. Those behavioral problems will only get worse with age.
Remember, dogs and cats are warm-blooded animals just like humans. Sexually frustration is common for them and they’ll do anything, even escape from their nice, safe home to find a mate. (So spaying/neutering is a good idea, just in case.)
On a side note… For all the stubborn men out there (you know who you are), it isn’t true that your male dog is ‘less of a man’ if neutered. In fact, your dog should feel lucky! He can have all the fun he wants and not worry about paying for puppy support.

Everyone should do his or her duty to take care of their pets and prevent more babies from being born. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. There just aren’t enough loving homes or kind-enough people to take in every puppy or kitten born or to adopt an aging animal who needs love in his/hers twilight years. There are also many adoptable animals surrendered to shelters because their families can no longer provide. These healthy adults, even the sterilized ones, face little hope of finding a new home in a world where many people just don’t care.

 I’m a firm believer in sterilizing pets (as you’ve probably guessed) and I hope that you are to.

Thanks for reading.


For more information about Spays and Neuters
 Okay, Amber, time to show us your book cover.


Forever Winter
After two disastrous London seasons, Susanna Lorican received a marriage proposal from a neighborhood friend, an esteemed Viscount, which saved her family from society gossip. She had adored him since childhood but never expected the man of her dreams to reciprocate the feelings. Susanna soon planned the perfect Christmas Eve wedding but never expected a snowstorm to barrel through the English countryside on the morning of the nuptials.

 Viscount Camden Beckinworth had lived the life of a devil-may-care rake until his parents’ premature death five years earlier. Returning home to save the crumbling family business, he cast aside his personal life and buried himself in his parents’ finances, focusing on nothing but honoring his family name. Once he decided that it was time to take a wife, now that the business thrived, he finally realized that the annoying little sister of his two best childhood friends had grown into a lovely woman. Needing her by his side, he pledged to take the headstrong miss as his wife.

 Susanna and Camden vowed to let nothing thwart their long-awaited day, even though icy roads delayed the dress and several guests. But when the reverend fell from his horse and injured his head, they had little choice but to postpone. To worsen matters, Susanna’s insufferable brother-in-law cornered and then assaulted her in the library.

 Despite their trials and tribulations, the young couple never wavered from their goal: marriage and a long life together. After all, happily ever after came only once in a lifetime.


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About the Author
 So… you want a little information about me? Hmmm, what to say? There’s just so much but let’s start with the basics.
Books to Go Now published my first novella, Forever Winter, in March 2013. As a debut author, I find that promoting is more time-consuming than actually writing. Several author friends have shared that knowledge with me before but I never really understood what they meant until recently.
My mind is a wonderland of romance, laughter and really awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. Writing is my passion and I probably wouldn’t be too sane without it. After all, what’s a girl to do when there are people jabbering away in her head and there’s no way to shut them up? Write! That’s the only answer I found that works.
I live in the lovely foothills of North Carolina with my supportive husband and five adorable little kitties! I work in retail but I’d love to write full-time someday. My hobbies include hiking, gardening, reading (of course!), scrapbooking, and watching movies or TV shows.
I love hearing from readers. Feel free to drop me a line!
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  1. Thanks for the opportunity to stop by your blog. I cried a bit writing this post but it was also lots of fun. I hope the subject moves people like it does me.

  2. I"m sure many will agree with you, Amber. And it's my pleasure having you on my blog. I know a few people with this subject near to their hearts, too.

  3. Have to go to the Friday organic market (can´t live without my salad greens from Gaby) but I'll be back with a Mexican viewpoint on the subject. Here the problem is magnified many fold.

    Great post, Amber.

    1. Hi Maria!
      Thanks for commenting. Even though over pet population is bad here, I'm sure it is much worse elsewhere. I'd love to hear you viewpoint.

  4. My Spook is a carbon copy of your Darby and Dexter. I'm amazed at how many identical black cats are in the world. They must be a prolific lot, so urging neutering and spaying is a good thing. Of course, every cat has its own unique personality.

    Good luck with your romance novel. It's just the right level of sweet for my taste.

    1. Hi Marva!
      Darby and Dex are like twins most of the time. They're both boys and look alike except that Dex is a little bigger and he had 7 tiny white spots on his left side. Both of them are whiners and total babies. It's strange, the girls are so well-behaved but not the boys!
      Spook sounds adorable!!! I love black cats so much!
      Thanks for the luck! I had a blast writing my novella!

  5. For anyone who is interested, my debut novella, Forever Winter, is FREE right now on Amazon! The promo lasts until tomorrow night.