Did you know February 26th is World Spay Day? February is also Prevent a Litter Month. If there was ever a time to get your pets spayed or neutered, February is the month! Personally, I am hoping to grab a feral cat or two, though that may have to wait till my schedule clears in March. Since I may not be able to physically prevent a litter this month, I am celebrating National Spay Day by sharing different resources for those looking for low cost Spay/Neutering services. While spaying and neutering your pets is not going to single-handedly reduce the number of unwanted animals in shelters, it plays a huge step. The two biggest things most individuals can do to reduce the number of animals killed in shelters each year is adopt a pet and get their pet spayed or neutered!
More and more communities are gaining access to low cost spay/neuter clinics. I love spay/neuter clinics. I worked at one for a brief period, and I have taken advantage of its services on multiple occasions. Whether you are taking advantage of low cost spaying and neutering for your companion animal, because you are financially strapped or because you are caring for a number of feral cats, these services are so essential. Personally I am in a tight place financially and still trying to find a few extra dollars to TNR the ferals in my neighborhood. I could not have done it without the low cost services offered in Chicago. I was in school, working a low paying job and caring for my own cats so money is super tight. Not trapping the cats in my neighborhood wasn’t an option though.
Below are some of the low cost options I have found.
Tree House’s BDVM Mac Lean Spay/Neuter Clinic-I love Tree House. I worked at the clinic at the very beginning, I was there for the first year of services and I got to see all the growing pains. I have taken a number of ferals here for TNR and it is wonderful to see just how much the clinic has grown over the years. According to their website they performed more than 25,000 surgeries since their founding approximately two years ago! All services are by appointment only. They offer different packages for different situations. I love that there is a TNR package; it includes spay/neuter surgery, distemper and rabies vaccinations (which are required in Chicago), flea treatment, and ear tip.They also recommend getting the cat a microchip (so animal control can, theoretically at least, notify you if they catch your cat) . There is also pain medicine for females. You can also spend extra to get the cats tested for an FIV/FeLV combo test if that is your thing. And the best thing of all, the staff cares so much about the cats, they will let you know if there were any signs of illness or anything out of the ordinary on your cat, even if it is a feral! I believe the last time I took a cat in it cost me about $40. While that is a lot for me to spend on a cat I will be putting back outside, it is less than taking him to the vet and totally worth it to reduce the litters born. There are different prices based on different needs, for example feral cats versus someone’s pet. I know things have changed since I worked there, so I don’t want to say too much about their pricing. Check out their website and give them a call to schedule an appointment. During the month of February Tree House has a grant to offer FREE spay/neuter surgeries during the month of February. There are some special offers going on for World Spay Day as well!
The Anti-Cruelty Society– They have spay/neuter services for dogs and cats and are located downtown, which may be a benefit for many people who live or work in the city. Like Tree House they offer a different prices for different services. Unlike Tree House (and many of the other programs) they have an a la carte. If you just want your cat or dog to get spayed/neutered, you can pay for just that. You can also add on vaccinations, microchips and distemper vaccines. The Anti-Cruelty offers a number of programs for the low income to help them properly care and provide for their pets. All of these services are especially great for helping low income individuals, or individuals who are just a little tight on cash, to provide the best life for the animals they love. Anti-Cruelty still has a few appointments available for February, so check out their website for prices and the number to call!
Felines & Canines’ Neuterama– One of the newer programs in the city, Neuterama started last January. They offer their services once or twice a month on Sunday. When I spoke to Abby Smith of Felines & Canines last October she said they provide free spay/neuter surgery and charge for microchip, Felv/FIV test, FVRCP and Rabies shot which includes a tag. All their services are performed at the Anti-Cruelty Society, with the space generously donated to Felines & Canines. As of October Neuterama was cats only, but this may have changed in the months since I have spoke with Abby. Please give them a call if you are interested in scheduling an appointment for your cat. Again, this is a great option for those who just can’t afford (or stomach the thought of spending) hundreds of dollars on a spay/neuter surgery. Visit their website to get their number and to check for latest Neuterama dates. They are in the process of opening a brand new shelter, so please be patient if they don’t respond or you can’t find information right away!
PAWS Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic and Gus Van-They have a traveling spay/neuter clinic. That has to be one of the coolest things ever! One of the largest spay/neuter programs in the city, PAWS also offers free services for low income individuals and feral cats. If you live in a targeted zip code you can also get a low cost spay/neuter surgery and vaccines. As with the other organizations, appointments are required. I believe PAWS Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic was one of the first large scale operations (no pun intended) in the city. It was certainly one of the first I had heard of. Visit their website to schedule an appointment, learn about the Gus Mobile (which is available on select Sundays for those in targeted zip codes).
Animal Welfare League-Located in Chicago Ridge the Animal Welfare League is the only one of these organizations that runs a full low cost clinic. Spay/Neuter surgeries are by appointment only. All animals must have their vaccines before surgery. This is clearly not the best option for TNR, but possibly the best option for low income individuals. More information can, of course, be obtained on their website.
The Chicago Animal Shelter Alliance has a list of low cost clinics in the city of Chicago as well as in the suburbs. If you are just outside of the city this might be a good starting point to check out if you are looking for a closer location. Please celebrate World Spay Day and Prevent a Litter Month this month by getting a cat or dog (or two!) spayed or neutered this month. Anything you can do to help save a life or five is a good thing!