As I wake up at five in the morning to my cat pawing my face, I wonder how I got to this point in life. I never envisioned myself being a cat and dog mom at the start of my college career, let alone having to be in charge of another being’s happiness. However, because of other people’s negligence, I find myself taking care of two animals. Although I love my pets, I realize I only have them because others in the community could not take care of their own. In order to be a good pet owner, people must have their furry friends fixed to lighten the community’s burden of unhoused animals.
The only reason I have my pets is because others refused to have their animals fixed and did not find their offspring a good home. The Oxford community is overrun with pets without a home, along with a shortage of suitable owners. At the beginning of this year, the Oxford Humane Society, Mississippi Critterz, was under police investigation, with one of the concerns being over-occupancy, leading to unfavorable conditions for the animals. Although no criminal charges were filed, police stated they found concerning overcrowding conditions. If members of the community had their pets spayed or neutered, overcrowding would be less of an issue for the Oxford community.
To make this possible, Dr. Leslie Tubb gave a generous donation to start the Tubb Spay and Neuter Project. This project recognizes that not all pet owners can afford to get their pets fixed and teams with the Oxford Crossroads Animal Hospital to provide low-cost spay and neuter services. There is no excuse to not have a pet fixed, especially when there are people in the community working to achieve this goal.
Not only does fixing animals help with the overcrowding problem, it allows pets to live longer and healthier lives. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also reported that neutering your male pet can prevent testicular cancer and some prostate problems, along with making them better behaved. Fixing an animal is not just about preventing them from breeding; it also provides a variety of health and behavior-approving benefits.
It is a pet owner’s duty to provide their pets with the best care possible. This is easily achieved through spaying or neutering, which provides pets a healthier life and minimizes the overcrowding Oxford is facing. If people truly cared about their animals, they would not let them breed into overpopulation and expect other people, like myself, to take care of the offspring. In order to be a good pet owner, one must have their pets fixed.
Willow Crosby is a sophomore majoring in accounting from Tupelo.