Spay & Neuter Information & FAQ's

Reasons to Spay/Neuter Your Pet

Healthier Pets

Pets that have been spayed or neutered are less likely to develop certain types of cancer and live longer, healthier lives. Spayed female cats and dogs are less likely to develop mammary tumors and have no chance of developing uterine infections (like pyometra, which is painful and can be fatal if left untreated). This is especially true if females are spayed before their first heat cycle. Neutered male cats and dogs won’t contract testicular infections, which, though rare, can be serious. Because neutered pets are more passive, they won’t be as likely to fight with other animals. And if an animal ends up in an animal shelter, being spayed or neutered can make the difference between life and death.

Happier Pet Owners

Female cats and dogs will no longer experience heat cycles. Female cats in heat can be noisy, meowing constantly and urinating frequently – often outside of their litterbox. Similarly, female dogs in heat often experience a behavior change, becoming “moody,” and because they experience bleeding the entire experience can be messy. Spayed cats and dogs will not be producing litter after litter, costing you money and time. Neutered males won’t impregnate females, and will be less likely to roam, engage in territorial disputes, or spray pungent urine on (cats) or “mark” (dogs) the items in your home they consider theirs. No more smelly male urine in the house!

Be a Good Neighbor

Cats are best kept indoors. Outdoor animals are at risk of injury or death from poor weather, traffic, and local wildlife. Loose cats and dogs can cause car accidents, noise disturbances, and fights with other animals. Cats that are not neutered or spayed are more likely to stray from home, decreasing the likelihood of finding your lost cat. Dogs should always be tethered in public spaces, either behind a fence or on leash. Most towns and cities have formal leash laws.

Save Money

You will save time, money, and energy by not having to care for a litter of kittens or puppies. Many people believe that spay/neuter surgery is expensive, but it is less expensive than providing food and the first round of vaccines and boosters to just ONE litter (not to mention the damage to your home that can ensue when puppies or kittens are around!) The MSPCA also offers affordable spay/neuter options for qualifying pet owners to help make this important surgery available for more pets.

Save Lives

The burden of unwanted pets is heavy. There are countless cats and dogs reproducing more and more unwanted offspring, causing many animal shelters to reach their maximum capacity. Sadly, there aren’t enough good homes for them all. Spaying or neutering will make a big impact on controlling the overpopulation of cats and dogs!

Spay & Neuter FAQs

How old should my dog and/ or cat be when I get him/her sterilized?

Spaying or neutering early – as young as two months – protects your pet’s health. Please spay your female pet before she has even one litter; and neuter your male pet before he has a chance to get out and impregnate unspayed females in your neighborhood. Help us reduce the pet overpopulation problem!

Is spay/neuter surgery dangerous or painful for my pet?

Spay-neuter surgeries are the most routine surgeries performed in the veterinary world and are very safe. They are typically very quick, too. Most pets are walking and eating within a few hours of the surgery.  Animals are prescribed pain medication after the surgery as needed. Complications are not common, especially when the owner follows all post-surgical care guideline.

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my pet?

Spayed females will avoid the risks of pregnancy and uterine infections, and will be far less likely to develop mammary cancer later in life. Neutered male cats do not spray your furniture, walls, and plants to stake out their territories. Neutering also discourages male cats and dogs from roaming, decreasing the likelihood of fights, car accidents, and disease. Neutering reduces the tendency to be aggressive toward humans and other animals, and it lowers your pet’s risk of developing prostate cancer and other diseases.

I want to help end animal overpopulation! What can I do?

Visit our volunteer page to learn how you can help make a difference.

SNAP Program FAQs

What are the financial guidelines to qualify for SNAP?

Many factors are taken into consideration when your application is evaluated, such as total income, number of household members, rent/mortgage, assistance programs, age of pet, etc.

How much does it cost?

Costs vary among the participating SNAP veterinarians. Please call the SNAP veterinary practices in your area for prices.

How do I apply for SNAP?

Click here to read the requirements for SNAP and fill out an application.

Once I submit a SNAP application, how long should I wait to hear if I qualify?

You will receive information within one week of submitting the application. If you do not hear from us after two weeks, please call (617) 541-5007.

Are immunizations (shots) included in the program?

No, shots required prior to surgery are not included in SNAP. Only the spay/neuter surgery expenses are discounted. Check out our full list of spay/neuter services to find programs that include shots.

What if I don’t live in Massachusetts?

The SNAP program is with participating Massachusetts veterinary practices only. If you live elsewhere, please contact SpayUSA for a low cost program in your area. Please note: You may apply for assistance only for your own pets.

What if I have more than one pet I would like spayed/neutered?

If you have more than one pet that you would like to have spayed or neutered, please use the comment section of the form to describe the other pet(s). You will be notified as to your eligibility for the Spay/Neuter Assistance Program within one week of the time your application is received. If you need help completing the form, please call (617) 541-5007.

I’m a veterinarian and I want to learn more about SNAP. What do I do?

Read more about the SNAP program and fill out an application.