URGENT: The city shelter is full, and we need your help to make more room for at-risk cats and dogs!

Surgery Instructions

Thank you for choosing to spay and neuter!

To prepare for your upcoming spay/neuter appointment at PAWS, please read over the following instructions.


You should stop feeding your pet at 10:00pm the night before surgery. No food, no treats, but water is OK.


You must drop off your animals between 8 and 9am and fill out the surgical paperwork at the time of dropoff. If you wear reading glasses, please bring them to complete the paperwork. Please select any additional services you may need (microchip, flea preventative, additional vaccinations, etc.) on the form provided.

PAWS is a high-volume clinic, so it’s possible that other pet owners will be dropping off at the same time and that there may be a wait at check-in. We appreciate your patience!

  • All pet cats must be in a secure carrier with one animal per carrier.
  • All feral cats must be in traps with one animal per trap.
  • All dogs must be on leashes. Please walk your dog outside to relieve itself before entering the building.

Pickup after surgery is between 4 and 4:30pm. If you pick up later than 4:30, there will be a $25 late fee.


When you arrive for pickup, our staff will go over your pet’s discharge instructions. Offer your pet a small meal, about half of their normal meal, when you get home and are settled. Please do not feed your pet anything out of the ordinary like special treats or anything they are not used to eating; it can make them feel sick as they recover from surgery. Do not be concerned if your pet does not eat that day.

Cats are given an injection of pain medication during surgery that will be adequate for pain control while they recover from their surgery. Dogs will go home with a solution of an anti-inflammatory pain medication in syringes to administer by mouth. Each syringe is one dose. Give one dose to your dog per day, starting the morning after the surgery. Please give the medication with food: it can make them feel sick if given on an empty stomach.

Your pet may still be drowsy from the anesthesia when you get home. This may last 24-48 hours depending on the animal. Some animals may shiver or vomit. Call us if vomiting is excessive or continues for more than 24 hours.

Keep your pet in the house. For bathroom breaks, we suggest taking dogs outside on a leash for the week after surgery. Do not allow your pet to run around off-leash, because dirt, germs, or flies could harm the surgical area while it heals.

Do not bathe your pet for one week post-surgery, as this can damage the sutures or lead to an infection at the incision site.

Please note: An e-collar (cone) is strongly recommended for all dogs and female cats for 10-14 days after surgery. Licking is the #1 reason for complications after surgery: if your animal is allowed to lick at their incision, they may pull out the sutures, cause an infection, or cause severe damage that may require a second surgery. If your pet needs follow-up medical attention due to licking of the incision, you will be responsible for additional costs.

Forms to Bring With You

You will be given this form to sign when you bring your pet for surgery. To save time, feel free to print and complete it ahead of time.