While we were at the shelter we saw several litters of puppies and kittens that were dropped off at the pound because they were an inconvenience to their owners. In the time it took to adopt Mom's new family, we saw three cats and two dogs left at the desk. No doubt the cost of a spay was too expensive for their owners and thus babies. When you think about the cost of a spay or neuter (anywhere from $50 for a small dog to a couple hundred for a larger animal) is it really that expensive? Some animals have to have emergency surgery during labor or risk dying. Animals that have litters are susceptible to c-section which runs upwards of $450- and that is if the labor has complications during regular business hours. By the time an owner pays for food for a litter of puppies or kittens, shots, and advertising to find the litter a home, that trip to the vet for a spay or neuter is not that expensive.
It gets worse for animals that aren't locked up in the pound but don't have a home to call their own... The foreclosure market in California left several family pets orphaned. We had a cat that appointed herself our pet. He was quite persnickety, but we really loved him. He was never fixed. No doubt he was the father of several ferrel kittens in the neighborhood before we took him in.
While we were at the pound picking up Mom's dogs, one of the shelter workers carried a ferrel kitten in the back room. She warned me to not stick my fingers in the cage with the kitten and explained she was wild. I asked what they were going to do with her and she said, "All ferrel cats that are brought into the shelter are euthanized." This kitten did nothing wrong. She was born. That was the reason for her death sentence.
I know that people believe it is a neat experience for their children to see the miracle of birth. If that is your reasoning, get some guppies. They practically always have babies. And you can keep all of them in a fish tank or share with friends and family! All the science of nature at its finest with very little risk or cost. I have never seen a fish at an animal shelter!
Check with your local animal shelter to see if there is a program in the area to help you wiith the cost of spaying or neutering your animals. Many times clubs will cover the cost for seniors and those with low income. If you live in the High Desert in California, there is a free clinic coming up. To find out more information contact Ark Animal Hospital at (760) 245-7300. Tell them you heard about it from Heart of a Philanthropist.