Responsible pet ownership includes spaying or neutering your pet once they are mature enough for the surgery to prevent unwanted litters and overpopulation (leave the breeding to the pros!). Neutering is the removal or alteration of the animal's sexual organs to prevent the animal's ability to reproduce. Spaying is also neutering but used specifically in the context of females. There are multiple ways to alter your pet and many low-cost resources available, especially in the Southern California region.
As a rescue, we only adopt out altered animals or, in limited cases, allow for a spay/neuter deposit to be paid to adopt an unaltered dog with the deposit refunded once the adopter has altered the dog and provided proof of alteration. For this reason, we kindly request that a dog is altered prior to being surrendered to our organization or we may charge a fee to cover the cost of spaying or neutering. We may make exceptions to this policy on a case by case basis due to age or health status and we are happy to discuss your specific case before making the decision to surrender.
Types of Alteration
The most common procedures to alter a pet are castration for males and an ovariohysterectomy for females but there are other options available.
- Castration - most common procedure for males which involves surgical removal of the testes thereby sterilizing the animal.
- Vasectomy - a much less common procedure and relatively new option in the veterinary field. Just like the same procedure in human males, this involves severing the vas deferens to prevent sperm from entering the urethra and thereby preventing fertilization through intercourse. This allows the animal to maintain its reproductive hormones after the procedure.
- Traditional Spay (Ovariohysterectomy) - this procedure surgically removes the uterus and ovaries. All hormone-producing tissue is removed and the female dog will no longer have a heat cycle. Eliminates possibility for pyometra (uterine infection) and development of mammary cancer later in life.
- Ovary Sparing Spay (OSS) - only the uterus and cervix are removed so the female will continue to produce estrogen but removes the risk of pyometra and eliminates the heat cycle.
- Laparoscopic Spay (Ovariectomy) - removes only the ovaries of the dog and laparoscopically so the procedure is less-invasive. Because the ovaries are removed, the female will no longer produce estrogen once procedure is performed.
Low Cost Resources in Southern California
Typically a low cost spay/neuter location will perform a castration or ovariohysterectomy. If one of the other procedures is preferred for your animal, you may need to do more searching for a vet who performs the procedure.
- Los Angeles/LA County:
- ASPCA City of Los Angeles Spay/Neuter Clinic
- ASPCA LA Mobile Spay/Neuter Services
- Community Animal Medicine Project (CAMP)
- Orange County
- Affordable Animal Hospital Orange
- Orange County Animal Allies (multiple listings around OC)
- Riverside County
- San Bernardino County
- Imperial County
- San Diego