Boy with his dog

Photo: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

A young, responsible pet owner

Jesus Garcia, 10, holds his dog 'Luna', after the pup underwent a sterilization surgery on Jan. 10 at free pet clinic event in the Las Golondrinas neighborhood in Mexico City, Mexico.

In response to the swelling stray animal population in Mexico City, the local government kicked off a sterilization campaign to raise awareness and reduce the number of cats and dogs on the streets.

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Dog is sterilized by a vet

Photo: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

Under the knife

A dog lies unconscious on a stretcher as veterinarians perform a sterilization surgery on Jan. 10 inside a mobile surgery module at a pet clinic event in the Las Golondrinas neighborhood of Mexico City, Mexico.

In the U.S., approximately 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized at shelters every year because there is simply not enough homes for all of them. The most effective way to reduce overpopulation is to spay or neuter pets within a few months after their birth.

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Cat waits to be sterilized

Photo: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

Breaking the cycle

A cat waits for its turn to be sterilized inside a mobile surgery module on Jan. 10 during a pet clinic event in the Las Golondrinas neighborhood of Mexico City, Mexico.

In addition to preventing reproduction, getting your pet sterilized is generally better for their health overall. Cats are 92 percent less likely to develop breast cancer if they are spayed before six months of age.

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