Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need to make an appointment to have my pet spayed or neutered?
- Yes! Surgery is performed Monday–Thursday, and pets are dropped off at 8:00am. Pick-up time is the following morning (Tuesday–Friday) at 7:30 a.m. for CATS, and 4:00pm the day of surgery for DOGS and RABBITS. Pets must be at least 8 weeks old (16 weeks old for female rabbits) and weigh at least 2 pounds in order to be eligible for surgery. Call us at (253) 627-7729 (SPAY) or schedule your cat or dog online to make an appointment!
- How old does my pet have to be for spay/neuter surgery?
- Northwest Spay & Neuter Center supports early age spay and neuter and can perform surgery on animals as long as they are at least 8 weeks old and weigh at least 2 pounds (female rabbits must be 16 weeks old). However, we recommend that your pet be vaccinated before being spayed or neutered.
- Does my animal need to be vaccinated in order to have surgery at your clinic?
- No. While we strongly recommend that you vaccinate your pet prior to surgery, it is not a requirement.
- When should my puppy or kitten be vaccinated?
- Vaccines should begin at 6–8 weeks of age and every 3 weeks thereafter until the puppy or kitten is 16 weeks old.
Feral and free-roaming cats do not require an appointment. Please view our Feral Cats page for more information about services for these cats.
Is the tattoo mandatory?
Yes, a tattoo is given to every animal we sterilize which will result in a small (about 1 cm) faint green line on the abdomen near, but not in, the incision. This is done with a simple scoring of the skin, placement of sterile tattoo ink in the score, and then gluing the score closed. The tattoo may appear much darker or larger immediately after surgery due to the ink temporarily seeping into the surrounding skin, but this will wear off and eventually be a small, faint line. We feel it is important to have a readily recognizable way to identify that an animal is already sterilized to prevent unnecessary surgery in the future.
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- I don’t know the vaccine history of my adult dog. Which vaccines does he/she need?
- Northwest Spay & Neuter Center recommends a Parvo/Distemper combination vaccine for all dogs, and the rabies vaccine.
- I don’t know the vaccine history of my adult cat. Which vaccines does he/she need?
- Northwest Spay & Neuter Center recommends a rabies vaccine and a feline upper respiratory/panleukopenia (FVRCP) vaccine for all cats.
- My cat is an inside cat. Does he/she still need to be vaccinated?
- Yes! If your cat should ever escape or you decide to add a new cat to your home, it is extremely important that your cat be vaccinated. Certain feline illnesses are not curable, but can be prevented with vaccines.
- Does my cat need a Feline Leukemia test before getting vaccinated for this disease?
- Feline Leukemia testing is strongly recommended before vaccination for this disease.
- Why should my cat be vaccinated for rabies?
- Cats are natural predators. Outdoor cats, especially, may be more susceptible to rabies since they are more likely to come in contact with squirrels, bats, mice, etc. These small animals are among the most common carriers of the disease.
- Does the clinic accept feral cats?
- Yes. Northwest Spay & Neuter Center actively supports the “trap-neuter-return” (TNR) approach to dealing humanely with colonies of wild cats who are not adoptable. For more information, see our Feral Cats page.
- Who can use Northwest Spay & Neuter Center?
- The center is open to anyone who wants to help decrease animal overpopulation in Washington State (and beyond). We have no restrictions on geographic area (anyone from any county can use our clinic). Anyone can take advantage of our affordable pricing, and we also offer discounted specials throughout the year for low-income residents. Learn more about our special programs.
- Do pet cats and dogs need to be licensed to be altered?
- No. The clinic is not part of an animal control agency and licensing is not required to use its services.
- How can I help support Northwest Spay & Neuter Center?
- See our Ways to Give page to learn more about how you can support us. You can also call or email us for more information.
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