Sillly dog covering eyes - Spay or neuter pets

Where can you find a free pet spay/neuter clinic?

Where can you find a free (or cheap) dog and cat spay or neuter services? The vets seem to charge so much to do it.

Which is which?

First, the terminology. Spaying is for female cats and dogs, and is essentially a hysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and uterus — technically an ovariohysterectomy). Male dogs and cats get neutered — really castrated — meaning that their testicles are removed. {cringe}

While you should, of course, consult with your own pet’s vet or clinic, advice from the American Veterinary Medical Association says that cats ideally are neutered/spayed before 5 they’re months old.

I. general, the rule seems to be the earlier the better. The surgery is smoother, the recovery is faster, and the health benefits to your pet are greater. Bonus for humans: No boy animal spraying!

Dogs and cats - puppies and kittens
Photo by cynoclub/Freepik

Where to go for dog & cat spay or neuter services

For starters, check out the PetSmart’s Spay/Neuter finder. Just drop in your zip code and see what’s nearby (you can uncheck the box for stores to only see neutering options). They use a handy Google Maps interface, which will show you locations and gives clickable links to clinic websites.

There’s also a comprehensive list at Spay USA, including low-income and mobile clinics that come to you if you have a hard time getting to them.

There’s also a great list over at of free and low-cost spay and neuter clinics. (Bear in mind that many free services are only offered to low-income pet owners, but there are many inexpensive alternatives.)

So, as Bob Barker used to say, “Help control the pet population — have your pet spayed or neutered!”

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