By Gisele Gamble

Special to The Examiner

Authorities recently discovered two apartments full of cats. The woman who collected all the cats admitted she had a problem. Now local shelters and rescue groups are trying to bring the cats back to health and find them good homes.

The sad thing is if people would just spay or neuter their pets, things like this are less likely to happen. We need to get the word out to people that altering pets saves lives.

If you have a friend or neighbor who has an unaltered pet and they trust you enough to listen to you, talk to them about the benefits of spaying or neutering. If this friend has slim resources, offer to help them find help with the cost of spaying or neutering their pet. Altering pets not only saves lives, it offers health benefits for the animals.

A dog or cat that is spayed before the age of six months has a slim chance of getting uterine infections and breast cancer compared to an unaltered female. Neutering a male before the age of six months is the best measure to take to guard against testicular cancer. Neutered males also make better pets and altering decreases possible problems with aggression.

Spaying or neutering your pet will not make it sluggish and overweight. Lifestyle and diet are the main factors that decide the health of a pet. Spaying and neutering dogs and cats not only saves millions of lives, but enhances the life of the altered pet.

Resources available to help with the cost of altering pets are:

• Low Cost Spay & Neuter Service, Lee's Summit, 816-525-5401.

• No More Homeless Pets, Merriam, Kan., 816-333-7387.

• Spay and Neuter Kansas City, Kansas City, 816-353-0940.

• STOPP Clinic, Raytown, 816-313-7729.

• Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, Kan., 913-596-1000.

One only has to go to a municipal shelter and see all the sad faces of homeless animals to realize how real the problem of pet overpopulation is in our society. People rely on rescue groups, but rescue groups can only do so much. Everyone has to do their part to solve this widespread problem.

Please make a difference and promote spay and neuter among your friends and relatives. With determination and faith we can make our society more humane for all our canine and feline friends.

• Animals Best Friends wish list includes: Purina One Puppy and Dog Chow, Purina Kitten and Cat and Chow, cow hooves or rawhides, canned dog and cat food, peanut butter, stuffed toys (no beads), HE laundry detergent, bleach, bleach spray cleaner, Fantastic spray cleaner, newspapers (without slick ads), paper towels, scoopable cat litter. There is a paper recycling bin in the parking lot at ABF Headquarters, 2302 S. Crysler Ave., Independence. Please, no cardboard or telephone books. We appreciate your support.