Guide to Low Cost Spaying and Neutering Programs

Veterinary staff

Low cost spaying and neutering programs are valuable tools in the fight against pet overpopulation. Find out what's involved, and how you can locate one of these programs in your area.

Why Spay or Neuter?

Dog care doesn't come cheap. Throughout the course of your pet's life you'll need to provide vaccinations and other routine health care, food, shelter, toys and so much more. The costs definitely add up, sometimes leaving caring owners wondering where to turn.

Spaying and neutering dogs at the age of six months can save you hundreds, if not thousands of health care dollars in the long run. Let's look at a few facts.

  • Neutering eliminates the possibility of developing testicular cancer. The cost of surgery and chemotherapy can run as much as $2000.00.
  • Spaying eliminates the possibility of developing ovarian and uterine cancers. The cost of treating these diseases can cost as much as $4,500.00 for long term treatment.
  • Either procedure eliminates the possibility of producing unwanted litters and a surplus of homeless pets. The cost to deal with this problem in terms of money and heartache is immeasurable.

About Low Cost Spaying and Neutering Programs

Low cost spaying and neutering programs are just one solution to the overall cost of pet care. They make these services available to low income households that would otherwise not be able to afford the cost of either procedure.


Programs vary widely, depending on your geographic region, the age and size of your pet, and your annual household income, but the cost of spaying and neutering ranges from greatly discounted to completely free. Some programs are focused strictly on reducing the breeding population; therefore making the service available to anyone who applies, regardless of income.

The following table provides an average price comparison between private and program services, but keeps in mind that private vets charge a base price for these procedures. The ultimate cost is determined by the amount of anesthesia required for your pet's weight.

Comparison of Average Spay/Neuter Costs
Provider Spay Neuter
Private Vet $150-$200 $100-$150
Low Cost Clinic $25-$60 $20-$40

Additionally, some programs require owners to pay for vaccination updates needed at the time of surgery, while other programs include this service as part of the overall cost. It's up to every owner to find out program details ahead of time.

Care Providers

The discounted rate for procedures may lead some to think that the service will be provided by veterinary students in need of practice or less than stellar vets; but rest assured, this really isn't the case. The average participating vet already has a successful practice and simply wants to do his/her part to address the overpopulation problem. Most consider it a public service.

Who Qualifies?

Many low cost spaying and neutering programs are aimed to serve pets whose owners make fifty percent or less of the median income for their area. Owners who receive Medicaid and other public assistance may automatically qualify for a low cost program once they provide documentation of the services received.

What's Next?

All low cost spaying and neutering programs follow their own guidelines, but generally operate in one of two ways.

First, you must contact the organization in order to receive information about the program and a list of participating veterinarians to choose from.

Next, you must fill out and return the form provided, including any financial information requested.

Depending on the program you select:

  • You may be required to enclose payment for the procedure in exchange for a certificate to present to the vet at the time of spaying.
  • Upon approval of your application, you will receive a discount certificate for the procedure in the mail. Then pay the vet directly when services are rendered.

Spay/Neuter Networks


Spay/USA is an organization that contracts with hundreds of private veterinarians across the country to provide low cost neutering and spaying.


  • North Shore Animal League International
  • 14 Vanderventer Ave., Suite L-1,Port Washington, NY 10050
  • 800-248-SPAY
  • 516-883-7575

Friends of Animals

Friends of Animals is another national organization working with many veterinary clinics across the country. To participate, contact them directly to receive an order form and a directory of participating vets. Once you return the order form, along with the fee for the service you select, you'll receive a certificate to take to the vet of your choice at the time of your appointment.Contact:

  • 777 Post Road, Suite 205, Darien, CT 06820
  • 800-321-7387
  • 203-656-1522
  • Web site:


To find a spaying and neutering program in your own area, you can try one of the organizations listed above, or contact your local veterinarian, Humane Society or animal shelter. In the long run, you'll be glad you did.

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Guide to Low Cost Spaying and Neutering Programs