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World Spay Day 2024: When Is It & How You Can Celebrate

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

cat having post-operative care after spaying

World Spay Day is an annual event aiming to decrease the stray pet population by raising awareness about spaying and neutering. This event, held on the last Tuesday in February every year, is critical as the homeless pet population is out of control. The more people know about the benefits of spaying or neutering pets, the fewer animals will be waiting for their forever homes in shelters.

Keep reading to learn more about World Spay Day and its importance.

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World Spay Day History

The first World Spay Day took place in the United States in 1995. This event was a direct response to the extremely high euthanasia rate at the time—between 14 and 17 million cats and dogs annually in the U.S. alone.

It was organized by Doris Day, an American actress and activist, with the help of her organization Doris Day Animal League (DDAL). The DDAL was an animal advocacy group formed in 1978. The organization eventually joined forces with the Humane Society of the United States in 2006 to continue spreading awareness about spaying and neutering procedures.

Days’ Doris Day Animal Foundation also provides grants for World Spay Day. The organization was gifted over $760,000 to spay or neuter animals between 2008 and 2018, ultimately performing the procedures on 14,873 cats, dogs, and rabbits.

spaying cat
Image Credit: De Visu, Shutterstock

Why Should Pets Be Neutered or Spayed?

There are countless benefits to neutering and spaying your pet. According to the ASPCA, approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized annually in the U.S. alone because there are no homes for them to go to. Neutering and spaying prevent unwanted litters, ultimately taking homeless animals off the streets and out of shelters.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) also says that spaying and neutering can reduce behavioral issues associated with an animal’s natural mating instincts. Spaying a female dog or cat can also protect them from health complications such as uterine infections and mammary cancer. In addition, neutering your male pet can reduce the likelihood of it developing testicular cancer or an enlarged prostate gland.

veterinarian spaying or neutering a dog
Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

How to Observe World Spay Day

There are plenty of ways one can commemorate World Spay Day every year.

  • Spay or neuter your pet. If you’ve been on the fence about getting the procedure done for your pet, there is no better day to bite the bullet than World Spay Day. If money is a barrier, contact your local shelter to inquire about low-cost sterilization programs in your area.
  • Donate to your local shelter. Animal shelters need support from the community to succeed. Any donation, no matter how small, can make a huge difference in the life of an animal living in a shelter waiting for its forever home.
  • Spread the word. Not everyone understands the importance of spaying or neutering their pets. Do your part by spreading the word to your friends and family and sharing statistics on your social media accounts. The more people know the shocking homeless pet statistics, the more likely they may be to sterilize their pets.



There may have been 28 World Spay Days since its creation, but spaying and neutering are just as important today as when Doris Day held the first event in 1995. While there may be small risks associated with the spay or neuter procedure, leaving your pet unaltered can spell trouble for your furry family member later in life and contribute to the homeless pet population.

Do your part by spaying or neutering your pet and spreading awareness of the importance of these procedures.

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Featured Image Credit: Bogdan Sonjachnyj, Shutterstock

Chantelle Fowler

Authored by

Chantelle's life revolves around two passions: writing and animals. Raised on the prairies of Canada amidst a menagerie of pets, she now lives with five cats, two guinea pigs, and a bearded dragon. Together with her husband and child, Chantelle delights in being an exemplary animal parent , going as far as installing wall-mounted cat shelves to give their...Read more

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