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In addition to being the month of Valentine’s Day, February is spay/neuter awareness month. The gift of spaying or neutering your pets is one of the greatest ways you can show love to your pets, family and community.

As part of spay/neuter awareness month, Lincoln Animal Ambassadors (LAA) is running a special project called “Fix ‘em for $50.” The first 50 people who request vouchers from LAA in February will pay just $50 to have their dogs spayed or neutered. Also included in the cost are three vaccinations: rabies, DAZPP and (if required) kennel cough.

Spaying or neutering your pets will bring them many health benefits. For example, the procedure decreases the risk of diseases. The probability of certain types of cancer and other serious health complications can be reduced as much as 85 percent for both sexes. Specific health benefits for females include preventing mammary tumors and pyometra (infected uterus), and for males include preventing testicular and prostate cancers.

Both your pets and your family will appreciate that spaying or neutering can help prevent behavioral problems. Females won’t experience heat cycles, which will eliminate their incessant crying and nervous behavior. Males will feel less of an urge to spray and mark, which will reduce their aggression. Both sexes will feel less compelled to attract a mate. This will result in fewer females dashing out the door to serenade the neighborhood, and fewer males roaming the streets — and consequently fewer fights, injuries and contraction of contagious diseases.

Spaying and neutering can benefit entire neighborhoods. It reduces the number of strays and unwanted animals, which can result in fewer traffic accidents, neighborhood complaints of nuisance animals, and threats to local wildlife. Spaying and neutering also decrease aggression, which reduces the danger of bites and attacks. Also, the demand for animal control resources is reduced, which saves taxpayer dollars.

Finally, U.S. animal welfare experts agree that spaying and neutering animals is one of the best ways to help curb pet overpopulation. The fewer unwanted litters, the fewer pets that are abandoned or relinquished to shelters, and therefore the fewer pets that end up homeless or euthanized.

LAA addresses the root causes of animal homelessness in Lancaster County by helping pets and their people through a voucher-based low-cost spay/neuter program, a low-cost vaccination clinic and a temporary assistance pet food bank. Lincoln Animal Ambassadors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all-volunteer organization funded entirely by donations and fundraisers.

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L Magazine editor

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