Having your pet spayed or neutered is important for reducing pet population, lowering the chance of infection and cancers in your pet, and curbing bad habits. In the last decade, many low-cost spay and neuter clinics have popped up. It can cause some anxiety for pet pawrents, so we have answered the most common questions for you.
1. Does low cost mean low quality?
Not necessarily. Low-cost clinics are typically high turn-over centers dedicated to performing spay and neuter surgeries exclusively. They perform many surgeries a day, but most do not provide a comprehensive physical exam of your pet.
2. Will my pet get the same care at a low-cost clinic as she would at a regular vet office?
While most low-cost clinics have experienced technicians, assistants, and veterinarians, it is what is not included that can become a factor. Most of the low-cost clinics we researched include pain medications and antibiotics as part of the price of surgery. However, most did not include pre-blood work, which can be important to detect under-lying medical issues and disease that can pose a risk to your pet during and after surgery. Blood work and an IV fluid drip during surgery can be added at some facilities for an additional cost.
3. What if I have an emergency?
Low-cost clinics are not the best option for higher-risk animals, in-heat, or aggressive pets, or those with medical issues. The facilities are typically not equipped for emergencies, overnight hospitalization, or additional care beyond a healthy patient surgery and recovery.
4. How much am I really saving?
Donations, grants, and local governments support many of these centers. Although it will range by clinic, savings can be upward of 50% for surgery alone. When calling your local low cost clinic, be sure to ask what is and what is NOT included in the price. We found that add-ons like bloodwork could raise the bill by $100. Some cities offer free spay and neuter vouchers for low-income residents.
5. Where can I find a low-cost spay and neuter clinic?
Start with Spay California, a referral database of low-cost spay and neuter services for the State of California.
Local Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics
Animal Medical Center | Fountain Valley
Community Vet Hospital | Garden Grove
Golden State Humane Society | Long Beach & Garden Grove
Pro Pet Fix | Fullerton
Trinity Pet Hospital | Laguna Hills
Vet Care Pet Clinic | Garden Grove
Free vouchers available for income qualifying applicants. If in need of financial assistance with spay or neuter, contact:
Actors and Others for Animals
(818) 755-6045, (818) 755-6323
Animal Assistance League of Orange County
Community Animal Network in Newport Beach
Fix Long Beach
Orange County SPCA
Pet Assistance Foundation
Saddleback Valley Humane Society
Santa Ana Friends for the Animals in Santa Ana
Spay Neuter Project LA