Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my pet?

It’s simple: spayed or neutered pets are more likely to enjoy good health and a long life. 

Spaying and neutering:

  • Reduces pet overpopulation
  • Significantly decreases the cost of licensing
  • Makes for more sociable and affectionate pets
  • Reduces disease, infection and cancer of pet’s reproductive systems
  • Prevents inappropriate spraying or marking
  • Stops cats’ crying, howling and frantic efforts to get out and mate


Will the pets get vaccinations along with their spay/neuter surgery?
Yes, pets that undergo spay/neuter surgery at the clinic will receive age-appropriate vaccinations, including rabies. Vaccines will not be available for pets who are not receiving surgery. 


Who will be performing surgeries at the coalition clinic?
The coalition relies on a network of providers who are members. Veterinarians who are licensed to practice in the state of Colorado will perform the surgeries and will be assisted by veterinary technicians. 


What is the cost to pet owners for spay/neuter surgery and vaccines? 

These services will be provided to pet owners at no cost. 


Who is funding the coalition clinics?
The Animal Assistance Foundation and other private donors have pooled resources to fund free S/N services to rural communities across Colorado.


Do you need to have a low income in order to get spay/neuter services at the clinic?
No, anyone can bring their pet to be spayed or neutered at the clinic. There are no income qualifications for clients who bring pets to the clinic. If you can otherwise afford to provide care for your pet, please utilize one of the excellent veterinarians in your local community. 


Why does my pet have a small dark line on her belly?

Often spays/neuters do not leave surgical scars and microchips are not completely reliable. The veterinary team places a small green tattoo near the incision line on your pet, while under general anesthesia, to make it easier to identify animals that have been fixed. This prevents unnecessary anesthesia and surgical stress on the animal if you are ever separated from your pet. Owners sign a consent form during the intake process which includes permission to perform this minimally invasive procedure. 


What is ear tipping and why is it done?

Only feral cats who are brought to the clinic in traps will receive an ear tip. Owned cats will not receive an ear tip during the clinic. Ear tipping is when the left ear of a cat is trimmed to remove the point. It is the easiest way to identify that a community cat has been sterilized. If an ear-tipped sterilized cat is trapped, the cat can immediately be released. It allows cat colony managers to tell from afar if a new cat in their area needs to be trapped. If the cat had only a tattoo or microchip, the cat would be subjected to stressful handling, which would also expose the person trapping it to possible injury. This ear tipping procedure is a medical procedure done while the cat is under anesthesia. It is considered essential by experienced feral cat advocates and is endorsed by all major humane groups. 

Post-surgery Information

View post-surgery instructions


What is an emergency after spay/neuter surgery?

Mild oozing and whining within 24 hours is not generally an emergency situation. However, there may be an emergency if you witness any of the following:

  • Your pet’s incision is oozing blood faster than you can blot it up.
  • Your pet’s abdomen is distended and bruised all over. 
  • Your pet cannot move or stand up three hours after surgery (however, it is very normal for a dog to get up, walk around briefly, and then lay down and return to sleeping the day of surgery).
  • Your pet’s gum color, if normally pink (some animals naturally have black, brown or spotted gums), is pale or white.
  • Your pet appears to have difficulty breathing. Some whining or panting can be a common side effect of the anesthetic drugs in the first 12 to 24 hours. However, gasping or breathing with large chest movements may indicate your pet is struggling.

* In case of emergency, first call us at (719) 294-1864. If you do not reach us, and do not receive a call back within 30 minutes, and you feel your pet needs emergency care, please call your veterinarian or a local veterinarian. 


Why is my pet drooling a lot?

Your pet may drool a lot after anesthesia due to nausea, stress and the anesthetic drugs given. There is no need to be concerned as this will likely stop within a few hours.


Why does my pet look like it was crying?

We put a lubricant in the eyes before surgery to prevent the eyes from getting dry during surgery. Animals don’t close their eyes when we put them under anesthesia, so without this ointment their eyes can get infections and ulcers.


Why don’t you send antibiotics home?

The spay or neuter surgery your animal had is a sterile procedure, meaning we use equipment that has been heated to a temperature that will kill bacteria and viruses. Antibiotics are usually prescribed if there is a break in sterilization or an active infection. Starting your pet on antibiotics when an infection isn’t present can cause your pet’s immune system to establish resistance to that antibiotic, rendering it useless when your pet actually needs it.


When should I be concerned about swelling?

Swelling the first day is quite normal. The incision is fresh and the body is still working to heal it, so a little swelling is okay. Keeping your pet from licking the incision, as well as keeping activity to a minimum, will keep swelling down. If your pet’s incision has a fluid-filled balloon around the incision, it may be a seroma, and it should be looked at by a veterinarian. Please call us at (719) 294-1864.


What should I expect from the vaccines?

Your pet received vaccinations today. Most animals do not have a negative reaction to vaccinations. However, here are a few things to be aware of that are considered common side effects: 

  • Lethargy (sleepiness) Decreased appetite
  • Limping and/or soreness at the vaccination site
  • Antisocial behaviors that are out of character for your pet
  • Small swelling at/around the vaccination site 

If any of these symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, please call us at (719) 294-1864.