Spay/Neuter Pre-Surgery Instructions

To schedule an appointment with our Spay/Neuter Clinic, please call us at 415-554-3030.

Pre-Surgery Instructions

Getting your pet sprayed or neutered? If so, there are certain things you need to do to prepare for surgery. Read on for pre-surgery instructions.

Please complete a health history check-in form 24-48 prior to surgery.


All animals over 16 weeks of age must have their food taken away after 11:30 pm the night before surgery. Water is okay. Animals under 16 weeks of age should NOT be fasted.


On the day of your surgery, please allow 45 to 60 minutes for your pet’s drop-off and registration process, which includes a veterinary exam for which you must be present. The veterinarian will review your pet’s medical history, and address any questions or concerns you may have about the procedure. Please alert us if your pet has any current medical conditions or if she/he is on any current medication. Completing the health history form, including vaccine records, ahead of time will greatly expedite the check-in process.

  • Cats are admitted between 7:30am and 8:00am. For your cat’s own safety, she/he MUST be confined to a carrier or crate. Please let us know if you do not have a carrier.
  • Dogs are admitted between 8:00am and 8:30am. Dogs must be on a leash. Please be sure to walk your dog in the morning before admission to encourage elimination. Please alert us if you have concerns about your dog’s behavior (eg. aggressive towards dogs, cats or humans; afraid of strangers; never been to a vet); we will strive to make the experience as stress-free as possible for your pet. Please allow extra time for check-in if your pet has behavior concerns.

Pick up time for all animals is 5pm. Please allow 30 to 45 minutes so that our staff may review important post-operative home-care with you. We do not board patients at the spay/neuter clinic. Extra fees may be applied if additional care or special handling is required.

Cancellation Policy

Forty eight (48) hours notice is required if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Cancellation and rescheduling requests are not accepted via email. You may be charged a fee of $50.00 for a missed appointment. Hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Wednesday – Saturday. Call: (415) 554-3030.

Vaccination Recommendations

We STRONGLY recommend your pet be properly immunized for his/her own protection. Please discuss appropriate vaccinations with your regular veterinarian ahead of time. Let us know at check-in your pet is not up to date, has never been vaccinated, or if you think he or she may be due for vaccines.


Your pet will have a small tattoo applied to either side of their incision or on the abdomen at the end of their procedure. If your pet becomes lost and somehow ends up in a shelter, a tattoo helps identify your pet as an altered animal, and will prevent him/her from undergoing surgery for a second time.

Extra Services

Your pet will be given a complimentary nail trim at the time of surgery. If your pet does not already have one, we recommend implanting a microchip for $30. We are happy to discuss microchips at check-in.

Payment and Fees

All fees must be paid at the time of admission. The estimated cost of your pet’s surgery is based on information provided at the time surgery was scheduled. To be eligible for our sliding scale, you must provide proof of income at admission. We accept cash, checks, and Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express.

We Need Your Support

The San Francisco SPCA is a nonprofit organization that relies on the generous donations of our community. Please consider becoming a monthly donor to help us continue to save sick and homeless animals.

Download this information on pre-surgery instructions in a PDF format:

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