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 two weeks 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). This can be a paper certificate or a clear photograph on your phone. Without adequate proof, we are required to administer a rabies vaccination at the time of surgery, and will do so free of charge.

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 unknown/foreign objects outside, which could potentially be dangerous during surgery.

4. Check-In

ASNA's current check-in time is 8:00 AM and is subject to change. Due to our strict schedule, your pet might not be admitted if you arrive after 8:30 AM. Please follow directional signs when you arrive on campus, pull into a numbered parking spot and follow the directions on the posted sign at your parking spot. Expect to spend about 15-20 minutes in your car during the admission process. View Directions

5. Car-side Check-In

Once you have checked in via text you will be put in a queue. A staff member will greet you car-side and ask pertinent questions about your pet's medical history. We will then bring your pet(s) into the building. 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 we will provide you with a cardboard one.

You may be asked to wait until the end of the check-in process if you have a very anxious or fractious pet, to reduce undue stress for your pet and other animals.

6. After Check-In

Your pet will be receiving general anesthesia and surgery on the date of your appointment, and it is important that our medical staff is able to reach you at any time throughout the day. Please be available to answer your phone on the day your pet is receiving surgery with us. If our medical staff needs to contact you prior to surgery to discuss any concerns about your pet and we cannot reach you, we will not be able to proceed with surgery on your pet.

7. Method of Payment

We only accept credit or debit card payments.  Please pre-pay using the e-payment link sent to you via email once you have made your appointment. If you cannot find the link, have problems with payment or need financial assistance, please email [email protected].

8. Pets are Held Overnight

Mondays through Thursdays, most animals are held overnight and released the following day at 7:30 AM. Dogs may be released the same day of surgery at 3:00 PM. You will be informed about your pet's release time when you make your appointment and reminded about that time during the check-in process the day of surgery. Please note that we do not board pets.

When you return for pick-up, please return to the same building at which you dropped off your pet. Again, please follow instructions on the numbered parking space sign. A staff member will give you post-operative instructions car-side and answer any questions you may have.

9. 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.

10. 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.