Categorized | Health

Prevent a litter – fix your critter



One female dog can produce up to 20 puppies a year. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Island Humane Society)

One female dog can produce up to 20 puppies a year. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Island Humane Society)



The Hawaii Island Humane Society, in recognition of the 15th annual Spay Day USA on Feb. 24, is encouraging all pet owners to have their dog and/or cat spay or neutered. 

It is estimated an unspayed cat can give birth to 18 kittens each year and an unspayed dog can give birth to 20 or more puppies each year. There are millions of unwanted and unplanned cats and dogs in the U.S. and certainly in Hawaii where there are particularly large numbers of feral cats. 

Not having cats and dogs spayed results in the euthanasia of as many as 4 million cats and dogs annually in the United States and thousands here in the islands.

Spaying and neutering is an essential component of good pet health care as well as an effective and humane means of decreasing the euthanasia of homeless animals in shelters. Other proven advantages include that sterilized male cats are much less likely to spray, thus eliminating one of the less charming and sociable aspects of the tom cat. 

Health problems can also be reduced in spayed and neutered animals through the elimination of testicular cancer and the reduction in the risk of prostate disease. And spaying and neutering can be responsible for a change for the better in the character of pets. Animals often become more affectionate and less nervous and aggressive.

The Hawaii Island Humane Society, in conjunction with the County of Hawaii and Big Island veterinarians, sponsors a Spay/Neuter Community Assistance Program to help individuals who could not otherwise afford to have their pets spayed or neutered. Participating veterinarians generously lower their normal fees for this special program. 

Spay/Neuter Community Assistance Program certificates may be purchased at HIHS shelters in Kona, Waimea or Keaau. Prices are $25 for a male cat,$35 for a female cat, $45 for a male dog and $50 for a female dog.

There is a limit of two certificates per household per calendar year. The certificates are valid for two months from date of issue. They are not transferable and may not be extended. 

However, a refund may be obtained on an unused certificate if it is returned to the Humane Society before the expiration date. The certificate covers the cost of a routine spay or neuter surgery at one of the participating veterinary clinics. Additional fees and certain restrictions may apply. 

The average cost for shelters to handle each homeless animal is $176. It’s clear that spaying and neutering can potentially prevent hundreds of surplus births in Hawaii, save thousands of taxpayer’s dollars and prevent euthanasia. 

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the relationship between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, microchipping and more.

Contact the HIHS Kona shelter at 329-1175, Waimea shelter at 885-4558 or the Keaau shelter at 966-5458 or visit

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