Community Assistance Spay and Neuter Programs

Available to residents of Chaffee County, Colorado

Community Spay and Neuter Programs

AVHS is dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation in our community. 


Ark-Valley Humane Society’s 2018 spay/neuter programs are currently helping to subsidize cat and pit bull surgeries for residents of Chaffee County.  If you have a pet dog or cat in need of spay/neuter services and would like more information, please fill out this form.


For information about trap/neuter/return (TNR) for feral and free-roaming cats, click here. For barn cat relocation tips, click here.


Click here for a list of participating vet clinics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is spaying and neutering?

A: Spaying is a surgical procedure that removes the uterus in female cats
and dogs and prevents them from getting pregnant. Neutering is a surgical procedure that removes the testicles in male animals and prevents them from being able to impregnate females. Spaying or neutering needs to be done by a veterinarian. Sterilizing
or fixing an animal is the same as spaying or neutering. Animals that have not been spayed or neutered are sometimes referred to as intact, unspayed, or unneutered.

Q: Why should I have my cat or dog spayed or neutered?

A: 1) Long Happy Lives! Spaying and neutering prevents uterine infections, mammary and testicular tumors, and some kinds of cancer.
2) Good Behavior! Spaying and neutering reduces the likelihood urine marking, running away, mounting behaviors, and aggression. Females who are spayed do not go into heat, which means you can avoid the unpleasant behaviors and mess associated with heat cycles.
3) Saving Lives! The number one killer of companion animals is euthanasia in animal shelters. Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted litters and reducing the burden on shelters, so that they can save more of the animals in their care.

Q: Is it OK to spay or neuter my pet when she’s a kitten or puppy?

A: Yes! Ark-Valley Humane Society spays or neuters cats and dogs at 8 – 12 weeks of age as long as they weigh at least two pounds. Pediatric spay and neuter is safe and effective. The age of spay and neuter will vary depending on the veterinarian, but most veterinarians will perform the surgery beginning between 4 and 6 months of age. Not only is it OK, it is better because it is a simpler surgery with a faster recover time than with adult pets.

Q: Shouldn't I let my pet have a heat before I spay her? Shouldn’t I let my pet have a litter before I spay her?

A: There is no evidence that having a heat is beneficial for your dog or cat. Rather, spaying your pet before her first heat allows for a simpler surgery, easier recover for her, and reduces the risk of mammary tumors developing later on. The first heat can happen as early as 4-6 months of age. By spaying before the first heat, you avoid risking an unwanted pregnancy. If you want your children to witness birth, consider instead becoming a foster parent for a pregnant animal at the shelter. To find out more about volunteer activities at Ark-Valley Humane Society click here.

Q: It can cost hundreds of dollars to get a cat or dog spayed or neutered. I can’t afford that. What can I do?

A: Ark-Valley Humane Society offers free spay/neuter programs for cats and pit bulls living in Chaffee County click here. If your pet does not fit these criteria, there are other options for finding affordable spay or neuter. You can contact our Programs Manager for assistance using the Contact Form, or contact SPAY COLORADO at 1-877-654-SPAY and view their online directory at While spending several hundred dollars to spay or neuter a pet may seem expensive, it is much less expensive than the cost of raising a litter of puppies or kittens.


Why do we TNR?

According to Alley Cat Allies, Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane and effective approach for stray and feral cats. Now in practice for decades in the US after being proven in Europe, scientific studies show that Trap-Neuter-Return improves the lives of feral cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time. To learn more about TNR and why we utilize this practice, click here.

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