Before Surgery: What to Know

Before arriving at our facility, please familiarize yourself with the important information below to help your pet have the best possible outcome.

1. Vaccinations

To help prevent common diseases, we strongly recommend your pet be vaccinated at least one week prior to surgery with the DA2LPPv (distemper/parvo - for dogs) or FVRCP (distemper/upper respiratory - for cats). While no vaccine is 100% effective, vaccination will lessen the chance of your pet contracting disease, as well as decreasing the severity of the disease if your pet does contract it. Please consult your regular veterinarian for further information.

In addition, North Carolina state law requires a current rabies vaccination for your pet. Please bring proof in the form of a certificate (tags are not acceptable forms of proof). We are otherwise required to administer one at the time of surgery for a charge of $15.

2. Feed a Small Snack the Morning of Surgery

Pets five months and older who are being spayed or neutered at ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance may have a quarter of the amount of their usual breakfast the morning of surgery, and animals four months or younger may have half of their usual breakfast. All pets can have water up until the time of surgery.

3. Keep Your Pet Indoors

Pets must be kept indoors or confined the night before surgery. This ensures that they are not eating outside, which could potentially be dangerous during surgery.

4. Check-In Time is 8:00 A.M.

Due to our strict schedule, your pet might not be admitted if you arrive after 8:30 A.M. The admission process usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. If you wish, you may collect the paperwork before your appointment to save time. View Directions

5. Check-in for Surgery

If it is possible to have your pet safely wait outside of the facility until you have completed check-in, please do so. Once we have your paperwork and have spoken to you about your animal's health, you will be asked to bring him/her in. All dogs must be on a leash and all cats must be in a carrier. If you do not have a carrier for your cat, you can purchase a cardboard carrier for $5.

6. Method of Payment

We accept payment in the form of cash, check or credit card, preferably at the time of check-in.

7. Pets are Held Overnight

Mondays through Thursdays, all animals are held overnight and released the following day at 7:30 A.M. Please note that we do not board pets.

8. About the Surgery

In female animals, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall, which makes them unable to get pregnant. In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. This prevents the production of sperm, meaning they will no longer be able to father puppies or kittens. Our patients are completely asleep during surgery and are unable to feel or move.

9. Tattoo = Spayed or Neutered

Your pet will receive a small, green tattoo near the incision site. This tattoo is not another incision—it’s just a small score in the top layers of the skin, filled with tattoo ink and covered with surgical glue. The tattoo will ensure that anyone examining your animal will know s/he has been sterilized.

Watch the Video

Learn what you can do to ensure your pet has a safe and easy spay or neuter operation.