PAWS Spay & Neuter Service FAQ

Who can use the PAWS Spay/Neuter Clinic?

The clinic is open to anyone who qualifies as being part of a low-income household as established by the state of Washington. We have no restrictions on geographic area (anyone from any county can use our clinic).

Do I need to make an appointment to have my pet spayed or neutered?

Yes! Surgery is performed on Wednesdays, and pets are dropped off 8-8:30 a.m. Pick-up is the same day between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Pets must be at least eight weeks old and weigh at least two pounds in order to be eligible for surgery. Call us at 425.787.2500 x820 or make an appointment request on-line.

How old does my pet have to be for spay/neuter surgery?

PAWS supports early age spay and neuter and can perform surgery on animals as long as they are at least eight weeks old and weigh at least two pounds.

Is the tattoo mandatory?

Yes, a tattoo is given to every animal we sterilize. We feel it is important to have a readily recognizable way to identify that an animal is already sterilized to prevent unnecessary surgery in the future. The tattoo itself is a green line, usually about one centimeter or less in length, located near the incision. The tattoo may appear darker or larger immediately after surgery due to the ink temporarily seeping into the surrounding skin, but this will wear off and eventually be a small, faint line.

Does my animal need to be vaccinated in order to have surgery at your clinic?

No. While we strongly recommend that you vaccinate your pet prior to surgery, it is not a requirement.

Is the microchip mandatory?

No, but we encourage your pet have some form of identification and a microchip is a safe, permanent form of identification that can’t fall off like a collar or tag. The microchip is inserted under the skin of your companion with a needle and syringe while they are sedated. Once you register the chip, if your cat or dog becomes lost the chip can be read with a scanner that provides the finder with information necessary to help reunite you and your companion quickly.

Do pet cats and dogs need to be licensed to be altered?

No, but we encourage your pet have some form of identification, so PAWS sells pet identification tags, as well as licenses for the cities of Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Seattle and communities that use the King County license.

When should my puppy or kitten be vaccinated?

Vaccines should begin at six to eight weeks of age and every three weeks thereafter until the puppy or kitten is 16 weeks old.

I don’t know the vaccine history of my adult dog. Which vaccines does he/she need?

PAWS recommends a Parvo/Distemper combination vaccine for all dogs (DHPP), and the rabies vaccine, which can be purchased and given during their surgery appointment.

In Western Washington, many veterinarians will also recommend a Leptospirosis virus vaccine. PAWS does not carry that vaccine, so you would need to have that vaccine administered by your private veterinarian.

I don’t know the vaccine history of my adult cat. Which vaccines does he/she need?

PAWS recommends a rabies vaccine and a feline upper respiratory/panleukopenia (FVRCP) vaccine for all cats, which can be purchased and given during their surgery appointment.

My cat is an inside cat. Does he/she still need to be vaccinated?

Yes! If your cat should ever escape or you decide to add a new cat to your home, it is extremely important that your cat be vaccinated. Certain feline illnesses are not curable, but can be prevented with vaccines.

Why should my cat be vaccinated for rabies?

Cats are natural predators. Outdoor cats, especially, may be more susceptible to rabies since they are more likely to come in contact with squirrels, bats, mice, etc. These small animals are among the most common carriers of the disease.

Does the clinic accept feral cats?

Not at this time. PAWS encourages you to work with other agencies that specialize in altering of feral cats as a humane method to reduce feral cat populations and reduce predation on wildlife. For information, see Feral Cat resource page.

How can I help support PAWS?

See our donate page to learn more about how you can support us, or check out our wish list for items needed for the animals. You can also contact us for more information.