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FAQ

Do I have to have a certain income to qualify for a certificate?

No. There are no income requirements to be eligible for a certificate.


How long will it take to receive the certificate?

If you haven’t received the certificate in 10 business days, email us at spayprogram@friendsofanimals.org or call 1-800-321-7387. Do not make an appointment with the vet until you receive the certificate.


Does it matter where I live?

It is suggested, but not necessary, that you live within 20 miles of one of our participating vets.


When should spaying and neutering occur?


Puppies and kittens of both sexes should be spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. Neutering is the surgical removal of the reproductive glands (testes) of a male animal. Spaying is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs (ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes) of a female animal.


Female cats can go into estrus (heat) as young as four months. An increasing number of veterinarians are performing early-age spay/ neuter procedures on animals as young as 8 weeks of age, to ensure the animal will never be at risk of accidental pregnancy. Veterinarians who perform early-age spay/neuter report that the animals tend to recuperate more quickly as well, with a speedier healing time and less discomfort. Both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights endorse early-age spay/neuter.


Older cats and dogs who are still intact should be altered as well, since they may remain fertile until 10 years of age or older.


What are the benefits of neutering and spaying?


The risk of cancer is substantially reduced in a sterilized animal. Male dogs are much more likely to contract prostate cancer if they are not neutered. Female dogs face risk of mammary cancer. Additionally, the earlier a dog or cat is altered, the lower the risk. An animal neutered before 6 months of age has almost a 100% chance of living prostate or ovarian cancer-free.


Spaying eliminates heat cycles and generally reduces the unwanted behaviors that may lead to owner frustration, which can lead to abandonment. Male cats are far less likely to ‘mark’ their territory, particularly if neutered by 6 months.


Neutering male cats and dogs reduces the breeding instinct making them less inclined to roam and more content to stay home, lowering the risk of contracting a contagious disease. It can also have a calming effect, leading to fewer fights and consequently lowering the risk of injury.


Is it unnatural to interfere with an animal’s reproductive cycle?


Humans interfered with nature when we domesticated dogs and cats. In doing so, we helped create the dog and cat overpopulation crisis that now results in 1.5 millions animals being killed in our shelter system and on the streets each year. We must now take responsibility for solving this crisis.


Is it healthier for a female to have one litter before she is spayed?


A female should ideally be spayed before her first estrus cycle. Early-age spaying (as young as 8 weeks) greatly reduces the likelihood of mammary tumors, uterine infections, and of course, unplanned pregnancy.


Will my dog or cat become overweight and/or lazy when neutered?

While your pet’s appetite may increase, they become overweight from being provided too much food and not enough exercise. The only behavioral changes resulting from spaying and neutering are positive ones. With their drive to breed removed, dogs and cats are calmer, more content, less aggressive, and aren’t inclined to wander from home in search of a mate.