Concerned People for Animals (CPA) is a nonprofit organization focused on improving and protecting the lives of cats, dogs, and other animals through education, action, and fellowship. Established more than a decade ago, CPA's dedicated volunteers have saved thousands of stray and abandoned pets through its low-cost spay/neuter and adoption programs.
To solve pet overpopulation, we must first prevent unwanted animals from being born. Animal shelters do the public's dirty work by taking in discarded animals, and then destroying them when no homes can be found. The public still views the situation as a matter of "out of sight, out of mind." Informing the public about this desperate situation will help alleviate the tragic results.
Spaying and neutering does help stem the tide of overpopulation, but does not make animals fat and lazy, harm their health, or hurt their personalities as some people mistakenly believe. Spaying not only reduces the stress and discomfort that females endure during "heat" periods, but eliminates the risk of uterine cancer and greatly reduces the chance of mammary cancer. Additionally, neutering makes males far less likely to roam, fight, or spray, and helps prevent testicular cancer.
Education programs must be developed for adults, because adults are ultimately responsible for the family pets. At the same time, we must reach youngsters. By teaching young children how to be caring and responsible animal guardians, we hope that they will grow up to be more sensitive and responsible adults; adults who will create a more compassionate world for all.
More than 5,000,000 healthy animals are killed in U.S. animal shelters every year — a tragedy that could easily be prevented by spaying and neutering. Approximately 2,500 kittens and puppies are born each hour in the United States, and animal control agencies and shelters receive approximately 27,000,000 animals annually. Those animals not adopted within a week — about 6,000,000 of them — are killed by lethal injection or by undesirable methods such as in carbon-monoxide gas or decompression chambers.
In many areas, a practice called "pound seizure" is permitted, which means that animals not claimed by former or new guardians within a specified time limit — often only a day or so — are required by law to be turned over to laboratories for experimentation. In the United States there is no federal law regarding pound seizures. Additionally, in order to make money on the deal, some shelters have even been known to quickly sell their healthiest and most adoptable animals to a laboratory rather than give them to a new owner.
Puppy mills — major contributors to the dog overpopulation crisis — are breeding kennels located mostly in the Midwest that are notorious for their cramped, crude, and filthy conditions. The demand for certain breeds further encourages the continuation of such "mass breeding" facilities that wholesale puppies to pet stores. It is estimated that some 5,000 puppy mills are operating today, breeding more than a 500,000 dogs a year. Helpless victims of the euthanasia room, purebred dogs make up some 20% to 30% of shelter populations.
At least 60% of dogs and 78% of cats enter shelters only to be killed. One cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in seven years. One dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 pups in seven years. Animal guardians who do not spay and neuter are the greatest single cause of the companion animal tragedy.
Many of these "owners" have no intention of breeding their animals, but it happens. Some, on the other hand, want their children to "experience the miracle of birth," but don't think about the result of letting their animals have "just one litter." The tragic result, too often, is death.
Dogs can be spayed/neutered as young as 8 weeks. A female may come into her first heat cycle at 6 months and
usually has a heat cycle twice per year. It is important that the female is spayed before 2 1/2 yrs to help prevent
Spaying a dog after that time does little to prevent uterine cancer. The best prevention for cancer in your pet is to
spay and neuter prior to their puberty. They DO NOT make better pets if they have had at least one litter.
CPA offers spay & neuter assistance based on financial need. For assistance in California, contact the California branch
office. For assistance in Idaho, please see our Idaho branch page.
CPA's California branch accepts a very limited number of cats and dogs for adoption. Our ability to accept animals is limited by the availability of people willing to provide foster care services. Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment, and we encourage you to consider all other options before giving up a member of your family. If after exhausting all other options, you have a cat or dog that needs a new home, contact the adoption coordinator at the CPA California branch.
CPA raises funds through individual donations, grants, and by selling a variety of products. CPA is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) charity. Contributions to CPA are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.