The Problem

More than 70,000 puppies and kittens are born each day in the United States, compared to 10,000 people. That means that even if every man, woman and child in the country were to adopt an animal, there would still be an enormous surplus of animals.

The estimated number of unwanted animal in the country exceeds 7.5 million. Many of these animals lead lives of misery, privation, disease and neglect. Others are spared this torture only by being euthanized in animal shelters throughout the country.

The Solution

The easiest and most effective way to reduce the number of unwanted animals  is to make sure that family pets do not produce unwanted offspring. San Francisco Animal Care & Control and other Bay Area animal welfare organizations are committed to this goal. Spay/neuter surgery is an effective way to curb animal abandonment and has additional benefits for the health and behavior of your pet.

Benefits of Spay/Neuter

  • Reduces the risk of reproductive-related cancers and infections in both males and females
  • Decreases desire to roam resulting in less incidences of injuries such as animal bites or auto accidents
  • Reduces the number of unwanted animals that end up in shelters
  • Reduces spraying and marking behavior
  • Decreases aggressive behavior
  • Creates a safer community, with fewer potentially dangerous animals

Free Pet Fixes at SFACC and SFSPCA

SFACC, in conjunction with Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) offers free spay/neuter services every third Thursday with their Go Nuts mobile surgical van. Pets owned by SF residents are eligible. Accepting pets from 8:00-9:00 am on a first-come, first-served basis. One pet is allowed per family; dogs and cats only. Unfortunately we cannot accept dogs weighing over 80 lbs. or older than 8 years. Animals must be at least 4 months old for surgery. For details, including pre-surgery instructions, call (650) 340-7022 x387.

SFACC’s partner, the SFSPCA (External Link), offers discounts for local rescues and low-income SF residents, as well as free spay/neuter services for pit bull mix dogs and feral cats. From January 16 – March 31, 2018, there is a SPCA Free Spay-Neuter Offer for Chihuahuas, Pit Bulls or Shepherd Mixes.

Every animal that is adopted from SFACC is altered before it goes home.

Spay/Neuter FAQs

Download the PDF (PDF)

What does it mean to spay and neuter?
Spaying is the operation performed to remove the reproductive organs from a female. Neutering means to remove the reproductive organs from a male. Pets recover quickly from both procedures.
Why do you spay/neuter puppies and kittens? Doesn't it harm them to do this when they are young?
Several studies over the years have found that, even when done at 2 months of age, spaying and neutering puppies and kittens does not harm them and greatly decreases the pet overpopulation problem. Early age neutering and spaying also greatly reduces mammary (breast) cancer and testicular cancer, and will reduce any future prostate problems.
Will my pet become fat or lazy because of this operation?
Lack of exercise and excessive eating cause weight problems in animals. Some pets may experience a slight increase in their weight after the operation because they tend to roam less. If your pet shows signs of putting on a little weight, increase walk or play session and reduce daily intake of calories, especially fat, to keep your pet fit.
Should I expect to see a dramatic change in behavior after the surgery?
Neutering your pet may result in less aggression, resulting in fewer fight injuries and veterinary visits. Males roam less, reducing chances of roadway accidents, theft, and lost pets. Neutered males mark their territory less by spraying. Females will not go into heat, eliminating behaviors such as constant crying, attempting to run off, and damage caused by spraying.
It seems to me preventing pets from having litters is unnatural. What do you think?
Dogs and cats have litters rather than single offspring, resulting in large numbers of unwanted puppies and kittens that ultimately end up in shelters. Spaying and neutering pets reduces the risk of health issues and may make animals less aggressive.
Does neutering male cats cause urethral obstructions?
There is no proven association between neutering a male cat and urethral obstructions. Feline urinary tract obstruction in male cats is caused by inflammation, mucus plugs, and/or small stones that can cause a blockage of the urethra and the cause is not well understood. Lower urinary tract disease in cats is associated with several risk factors including diet, behavior, stress, and being part of a multi-cat household.
It seems silly to have a male neutered when they aren't the ones having the litters. Why not just spay the females?
A female cannot have a litter without a male. Unneutered males can impregnate many females in a year. Also, a neutered male will have less physical and behavioral problems throughout his life. Males that are not neutered (even if they have no behavior problems themselves) attract unwanted attention from other dogs and are more likely to contribute to dog-dog aggression. Responsible pet owners should neuter both male and female pets to curb the overpopulation.
I’ve heard it’s better to allow your female to have one litter before she is spayed. Is that true?
No! There is no research to verify this myth. In fact, the ideal time to spay your female cat or dog is before their first heat. Spaying at a young age prevents uterine infections and reduces the incidence of mammary cancer. Also, along with preventing unwanted crowds of males harassing your female, she will be relieved of the stress of being in heat.
I’m afraid that the operation will be too costly. Are there low-cost spaying and neutering alternatives for concerned pet owners?

SFACC, in conjunction with Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) offers free spay/neuter services every third Thursday through their Go Nuts mobile surgical van (External Link).  And our partner, the SFSPCA (External Link), offers discounts for local rescues and low-income SF residents, as well as free spay/neuter services for pit bull mix dogs and feral cats. Every animal that is adopted from SFACC is altered as part of the adoption fee. In the long run, the price of this operation is far less than the expense of the litters and medical problems arising from unaltered animals.


Related Links:
Get Viewer (External Link)
News & Events Calendar
SFSPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic (External Link)
Feral Cat Trapping
Peninsula Humane Society (External Link)