What is Spay?
A “Spay” is a general term used to describe the ovariohysterectomy of a female animal so that she can no longer have litters.
The procedure is done with the animal under general anesthesia and consists of a small incision in the abdomen to remove the reproductive organs (ovaries and uterus). Recovery is generally prompt… Most cats and dogs can go home the day of surgery and are back to normal within five to seven days.
Pets are typically spayed in order to eliminate the possibility of reproduction and as a proactive measure to avoid future health concerns such as ovarian cancer. In addition to pet health benefits, spaying your pet has also been found to improve cat and dog behavior.
Spays can be done on pets as early as 8 weeks of age. Pets older than 6 years of age are generally advised to get blood work done to ensure there will be no complications.
While a spay is considered to be a routine surgery and done by a licensed veterinarian, the procedure is not without risk. Complications are very uncommon but it is important to know that like any surgical procedure, there is always the risk to anesthesia reaction, excessive bleeding, bruising and infection. Overall, the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent in healthy patients.
What is Neuter?
A “Neuter” is a general term used to describe the castration of a male animal. It is a surgery, which removes the testicles of the animals so that he can no longer reproduce.
The neuter is done with the animal under general anesthesia and consists of a small incision on the scrotum to remove the reproductive organs. Recovery is generally prompt… Most cats and dogs can go home the day of surgery and are back to normal within five to seven days.
Pets are typically neutered in order to eliminate their ability to reproduce and to curb hormone related behaviors. Along with curbing pet behavior problems, there are several benefits to pet health.
Dogs and cats can be neutered as early as 8 weeks of age. Pets older than six years of age are generally advised to get blood work done to ensure there will be no complications.
While a neuter is considered to be a routine surgery and done by a licensed veterinarian, the procedure is not without risk. Complications are very uncommon but it is important to know that like any surgical procedure, there is always the risk to anesthesia reaction, excessive bleeding, bruising and infection. Overall, the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent in healthy patients.
What Are the Advantages?
- Spayed or neutered animals no longer feel the need to roam to look for a mate, they stay home and have less of a chance of being involved in accidents such as being hit by a car, and lower incidence of contracting contagious diseases.
- Spaying or neutering your pet reduces the risk of certain types of cancer that can be terminal for your pet, not to mention EXPENSIVE to treat.
- Spaying or neutering your pet can also eliminate undesirable behaviors like spraying, marking and fighting.
- Dogs and cats spayed before their first heat (six months of age) are virtually assured of not developing mammary cancer, a relatively common disease in unspayed females.
- Spayed pets cannot develop the uterine infection called ”Pyometra,” which occurs commonly among older, unspayed dogs and cats. Pyometra is a life threatening disease.
- Spayed animals do not go through heat cycles or produce unwanted puppies or kittens. “Heat” refers to the time when female dogs and cats prepare for mating and pregnancy.
- In Los Angeles it is the law and fines can start at $100. It is also cheaper to register your pet with the city if he/she is neutered or spayed.
Answers to Common Questions
- Spaying or neutering will NOT make your dog or cat fat and lazy unless they are overfed.
- It is NOT true that a cat or dog should have one litter before being spayed. This only leads to more unwanted puppies and kittens.
- It is NOT true that a cat or dog should have one heat cycle before being spayed.
- Altering your pet will NOT change your pet’s personality. Cats’ personalities do not fully develop until about one year of age, and dogs’ between one and two years. If your pet’s personality changes after spaying at an early age, it would have changed without surgery.
Spay & Neuter Locations Outside of LA
If you are not in the Los Angeles area but are interested in spay/neuter services, click here to find low-cost options in your area.
Our friends at the ASPCA provide a comprehensive and searchable database designed to help you find low-cost spay/neuter programs in your community.
About SNP LA
Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP LA) offers high quality, low cost spay & neuter surgeries for dogs and cats. With 3 clinic locations in Van Nuys, San Pedro and Pico Rivera, SNPLA is helping reduce animal shelter euthanasia and pet overpopulation by working with low income pet owners. SNP LA also offers special rates for community cats, low cost vaccinations, microchipping and discount flea medication.
- For every human born, 15 puppies and 45 kittens are born.
- One female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in 7 years.
- One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in 6 six years.
- An estimated 6 to 8 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year. Millions more are abandoned, only to suffer on the streets from illness or injury before dying.
- In a study of relinquishment of dogs and cats in 12 U.S. animal shelters, 30% of the surrendered dogs were purebreds.
- The same study indicated that 55% of the surrendered dogs and 47% of the surrendered cats were unaltered.
- U.S. taxpayers pay an estimated $2 billion each year to round up, house, euthanize, and dispose of homeless animals.
- Approximately 90% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed based on reports from 1,038 facilities across America.
Every year millions of healthy and otherwise adoptable animals are killed in our shelters because there are not enough good homes for them. This tragedy is preventable. By spaying or neutering cats and dogs, we can humanely end the pet overpopulation crisis.
MYTH: Animals, dogs in particular, are less protective after sterilization and show other negative behavioral changes.
FACT: Any changes brought about by spaying/neutering are generally positive. Neutered male cats usually stop territorial spraying. Unaltered pets are three times more likely to bite than neutered pets. Neutered dogs and cats fight less and are less likely to become lost due to straying from home in search of a mate. Spayed animals do not go into heat or need to be confined indoors to avoid pregnancy. All altered animals remain protective and loyal to their guardians.
MYTH: Males do not give birth so we do not need to neuter them.
FACT: The old saying “it takes two to tango” is as true for animals as it is for humans. In addition, while a female dog or cat can only have one litter at a time. Male animals can impregnate many females each day.
MYTH: Spaying and neutering doesn’t benefit any animal.
FACT: Statistics prove that animals that are spayed or neutered are healthier, live longer and are less likely to develop testicular cancer, ovarian cancer, mammary cancer, or more. In addition, spayed or neutered animals are less likely to try to run away or roam, and therefore are less likely to be hit by cars or wind up in shelters. The surgery, performed under anesthesia, is not painful, does not have a long recovery, and prevents certain deadly diseases.
MYTH: Animals must be at least six-months-old before they can be spayed or neutered.
FACT: Although animals have traditionally been altered at six months, veterinarians are now practicing spay/neuter surgery, which can be performed on animals as young as eight weeks. Doctors practicing the technique report that the surgery is significantly easier and quicker to perform. Furthermore, guardians of animals altered younger report fewer medical problems than those of conventionally altered animals. Finally, the spay/neuter procedure, before adopting out animals from shelters, is the best way to ensure that unwanted births do not occur.
MYTH: Spaying and neutering is expensive.
FACT: Mobile vans traveling throughout the City make spaying and neutering free and convenient. There are also free and low-cost spay and neuter services available to senior citizens and low income families.
I. Immediately spay or neuter your pet. This will reduce the likelihood of roaming and certain diseases, keep animals healthier, and help eliminate pet overpopulation.
II. Do not let your animal run loose. Always keep your dog secured in your house, in your yard, or on a leash. Cats should stay inside only.
III. Always keep a collar and personalized identification tag on your pet in case your pet gets loose. (Check the collar periodically to make sure it is not too tight.) Consider microchipping as well.
IV. Do not give your pets aspirin or other “people” medicine as they may be deadly to your animal. Chocolates, onions, and some plants are also deadly to animals.
V. Bring your pet to a veterinarian every year for a checkup and receive yearly vaccinations.
VI. By law, dogs (but not cats) must be licensed with the city. Proof of an updated rabies vaccine is required. It is cheaper to license dogs that have been spayed or neutered.
VII. Never leave your pet alone in a car, even for a short time. A dog left in a car with the windows cracked in 80-degree weather may suffer severe damage in as little as 10 minutes.
VIII. Never transport your animal in the open bed of a truck or other vehicle.
IX. Always have plenty of fresh water available for your pet.
X. Always give your pet plenty of love. We guarantee they will do the same in return.
Experts in animal behavior suggest these tips if you ever encounter an aggressive dog:
- Do not try to run away.
- Hold your hands at your side.
- Try to avoid making eye contact and do not try to stare the dog down. Slowly back away
- If the dog attacks, wrap a coat or sweater around your arm to use as a shield and back away as quickly as possible.
- Parents should instruct their children to walk on the other side of the street to avoid aggressive dogs on fenced properties.
- If an attack is imminent, lie in a fetal position and cover your head with your arms.
Would you like to see where our mobile spay and neuter clinics are operating?
- Click here for spay or neuter in South Los Angeles.
- Click here for spay or neuter in the Antelope valley, Kern County, San Bernadino County and all surrounding areas.
- Click here for spay or neuter throughout the State of California
- Click here for spay or neuter throughout the United States
If these areas are not near you please check with your local animal shelter which can guide you to affordable spay and neuter.
The Coalition for Pets & Public Safety purchased the first spay and neuter mobile clinic in Los Angeles. The state-of-the-art mobile spay and neuter clinic travels into impoverished areas of Los Angeles conducting free sterilization for pets who are companions to seniors, handicapped, and low-income residents in the City of Los Angeles. The clinic-on-wheels visits community centers, senior centers, council offices, and shopping centers.
Our mobile clinic operates five days per week and alters more than 5,000 pets per year. Surgeries are performed only by licensed veterinarians using the most modern techniques and equipment available. An on-board generator and water supply makes the unit totally self sufficient and able to travel throughout LA.
We look forward to purchasing another clinic so 10,000 pets per year can be altered. Every dog and cat sterilized by the mobile clinic will immediately affect the number of unwanted births. Currently 80,000 unwanted pets are euthanized annually in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES CITY SHELTERS
(see also LAanimalservices.com):
North Central Los Angeles Animal Shelter
3201 Lacy St., L.A., CA 90031 888-452-7381 ext. 141
South Central Animal Shelter
3320 W. 36th St., L.A., CA 90018 888-452-7381 ext. 142
East Valley Animal Shelter
14409 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA 91405 888-452-7381 ext. 145
West Valley Animal Shelter
20655 Plummer St., Chatsworth, CA 91311 888-452-7381 ext. 146
W. Los Angeles Animal Shelter
11361 W. Pico Blvd., W.L.A., CA 90025 888-452-7381 ext. 144
Harbor Animal Shelter
735 Battery Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 888-452-7381 ext. 143
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHELTERS
(see also animalcare.lacounty.gov):
11258 S. Garfield Ave., Downey, CA 90242 562-940-6898
216 W. Victoria St., Gardena, CA 90248 310-523-9566
Baldwin Park Shelter
4275 N. Elton, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 626-962-3577
5210 W. Ave I, Lancaster, CA 93536 661-940-4191
29525 Agoura Rd., Agoura, CA 91301 818-991-0071
31044 N. Charlie Cyn Rd., Castaic, CA 91384 661-257-3191 or 818-367-8065
OTHER AREA SHELTERS
Seal Beach Animal Care Center ( sbacc.org)
1700 Adolfo Lopez Dr., Seal Beach, CA 562-430-4993
Burbank Animal Shelter
1150 N. Victory Pl., Burbank, CA 91502 818-238-3340
Glendale Humane Society 717 Ivy St., Glendale, CA 91204 818-242-1128
Karma Rescue (www.karmarescue.org or email email@example.com)
1158 26th Street Suite 155 PMB, Santa Monica, CA 90403 310-512-RUFF (7833)
Much Love Animal Rescue (www.muchlove.org)
Santa Monica, CA 310-636-9115
New Leash on Life (www.nlol.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
16742 Placerita Cyn. Rd., Newhall, CA 91321 661-255-0097 or 818-710-9898
Pasadena Humane Society
361 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105 626-792-7151
Santa Monica Animal Control
1640 9th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 310-458-8594
(see also www.spcala.com)
South Bay Shelter
12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne, CA 90250 310-676-1149
6100 Topanga Cnyn Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367 818-932-7988
Long Beach Animal Shelter/ P.D. Pitchford Animal Village
7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, CA 90815 562-570-SPCA or 562-570-7387
San Gabriel Valley Humane Society
851 E. Grand Ave., San Gabriel, CA 91776 626-286-1159
SEAACA (S.E. Area Animal Control Authority)
9777 SEAACA St., Downey, CA 90241 562-803-3301