Have you ever wondered why an owner allows a dog to have a litter of pups when he does not want them? So have we.

When spaying and neutering is readily available to anyone who is willing to take their animal to the veterinarians office, why don’t people do it?

Could it be the expense? Maybe they believe the female has to have a litter before she is spayed. Maybe they have a male and believe that neutering is unnecessary. Maybe they just do not care!

If the expense is too much, there are groups such as PAWS, Spay & Neuter Kansas City, and No More Homeless Pets who can help with the cost. Each of these groups exist solely to save lives by decreasing the number of homeless animals.

A phone call to PAWS at 816-252-2680 will get you a certificate to take a percentage off the cost of spaying or neutering your pet. They work with several veterinaries in the metro area who gladly accept their certificates. Each year PAWS provides assistance to spay or neuter more than 2,000 animals.

Spay & Neuter Kansas City has Mash clinics and pet assistance programs, and its representatives go door to door in certain areas of the city. It has supplied doghouses and foods to needy owners as well as implementing spay and neuter programs. Its number is 816-353-0940.

o More Homeless Pets is working toward making the Kansas City area a “no kill” community by 2012. It has a coalition of clinics across the area that offer low-cost spaying and neutering. It can be reached at 816-353-0940.

It is a myth that a female animal has to have a litter before she is spayed. Spayed females are healthier, and they are less likely to develop uterine, ovarian or breast cancer.

eutered males do not become lazy because they are neutered; lifestyle makes them lazy. Neutered males are more affectionate. They are less likely to roam or become aggressive.

If you think you do not have time to have your animal spayed or neutered, find the time. Having your animal spayed or neutered takes less time than the time it will take you to find homes for a litter of babies.

If you just do not care, shame on you! You should care. According to Spay & Neuter Kansas City, at least 20,000 cats and dogs are killed each year in Jackson County alone because there are no homes for them.

Here are some facts to think about from the Humane Society of the United States:

 An estimated 5 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year. That’s one about every 6 1/2 seconds.

 Two unaltered cats and all their descendants can theoretically number 420,000 in just seven years.

 Two unaltered dogs and all their descendents can theoretically number 67,000 in just six years.

 In a study of relinquishment of cats and dogs in 12 U.S. animal shelters, 30 percent of the surrendered dogs were purebreds.

 “No home for littermates” is one of the top 10 reasons people relinquish their cats and dogs to shelters.

 It costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $2 billion each year to round up, house, kill, and dispose of homeless animals.

 More than 56 percent of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed based on reports from more than 1,055 facilities across America.

 Approximately 71 percent of cats and kittens entering shelters are killed based on reports from 1,055 facilities across America.

Do you still think an animal should not be spayed or neutered? Look inside yourself, deep into your sense of humanity, how can you go on knowing that animals are dying every minute because there are too many animals and not enough homes? You can do something about this! Have your animal spayed or neutered. Encourage your friends and neighbors to spay or neuter their animals. Get involved with one of these groups to help decrease the population of homeless animals. Stand up, speak out, and make a difference, and more important, save a life!

  The following animals are available for adoption at the Independence Animal Shelter. Visit the shelter at 875 Vista Drive or call 816-325-7207 for more information. If you have an animal control problem, call 816-325-7205.

 5772996 male collie, tri-color, 3 months.

 5779056 female Chihuahua mix, black, 1 year.

 5689667 female Australian shepherd, tri-color, 3 months.

 5783965 female retriever, black, 3 months.

 5778636 female beagle mix, white/brown, 1 year.

 5771360 male German shepherd, brown/black, 3 months.

 5689632 female Australian shepherd, tri-color, 3 months.

 5778887 female coonhound, red, 1 year.

 5774996 female American blue heeler mix, brown/white, 5 months.

 5765284 male shepherd mix, red/black, 1 year.

 4880589 female boxer, tri-color, 5 years.

 5688100 male Rottweiler, black/red, 5 years.

 5772677 male Scottish terrier, black/white, 7 months.

There are lots more dogs, puppies, and many cats and kittens needing homes.