Keep in mind that many low-cost clinics are nonprofit organizations and therefore, they are getting grants and donations that help them offset their costs. This is a good thing since it means that they are NOT cutting corners when it comes to your pet’s care – they are just bringing in other forms of “revenue” to supplement their lower service fees.
Still, you want to make sure that the clinic you choose is going to provide your pet with the best care possible. Questions to ask:
- Who is doing the surgery?
Find out the name of the veterinarian and number of years of experience he/she has. You might also ask how long the vet has been working at the clinic.
- Will your pet be given pain medication before and after the procedure?
There is no reason for your pet to be in pain. Ask about clinic protocols when it comes to giving pain meds.
- What protocols are in place for monitoring your pet during the procedure? Monitoring your pet’s vital signs – like heart rate and blood pressure — during the surgery is done to signal any distress while under anesthesia. Make sure that your pet will be monitored during the procedure.
- What does the clinic do to identify any pre-existing conditions that could make surgery risky? Pre-existing conditions such as a heart condition — can cause complications – and even death – during surgery. Ask the clinic how they identify any pre-existing conditions or health issues that your pet may have. In many cases, it’s a good idea to have blood work done as well as an echocardiogram before any type of surgery. Low-cost clinics do not typically offer either of these – so you may want to ask to see if they recommend that your pet be checked first by your regular vet. Your pet’s age will also be a big factor.
- Who should I call if there is a problem after the surgery? Does the clinic provide you with emergency contact information in case there is a problem following the surgery? Can you bring your pet back –and what should you do after regular hours?
NOOTERS Club® is an advocate for pet spay and neuter. You knew that. But because of the position we take, we are often asked about where to go for affordable pet spay and neuter. That’s why we created our online directory. We ask each pet spay/neuter clinic to provide standard information about its services along with contact information. But it’s up to each pet guardian to decide whether or not a particular clinic is right for his or her pet.
We also get asked, “Where would you go?” Here in Michigan – it’s an easy answer. (See who I go to here in Michigan in a later blog.) But it’s more difficult when it comes to clinics with which we have no experience.
How can you tell if a low-cost clinic is reputable? You can ask the standard questions – like, “How long have you been in business?? Or, “How many procedures have you done?” These answers should tell you something about a clinic’s experience and longevity. But I would dig a little deeper.
- How does the clinic fare in reviews? Search online reviews just as you would for a restaurant or other business. For example, the clinic I work with here in Michigan rates 5 stars in many reviews and close to 5 in others. Good enough for me. Read reviews carefully. Sometimes even a few negative comments – if they are serious enough – will be cause to go elsewhere.
- Are there any complaints filed against the clinic or its veterinarians? This is easy to find out but takes a little digging. In each state, complaints against veterinary hospitals and veterinarians are filed with a state department of licensing and regulations. Here in Michigan it’s called the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs at http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-63294_27647-67393–,00.html. The name could be slightly different in each state – check on your state’s official website – or call for assistance. In any case, such a department posts disciplinary actions taken against healthcare institutions and professionals including physicians, nurses, dentists and veterinarians. Locate these lists on your state’s website and search, by name, for the clinic and its veterinarians. (Of course, you’ll need to obtain a list of the clinic’s veterinarians in advance.) If your state’s like mine, you’ll be surprised at the number and nature of medical professional complaints!)
- Check out the clinic’s website. Is the website professional looking and does it provide useful information about procedures, preparation, post-surgical care at home, etc.? If a lot of care and attention went into developing the site, this sends a good message about the clinic. At the same time, do not trust JUST what you see on the site.
- How helpful are they on the phone? Granted, many low-cost clinics have limited staff and may have a difficult time answering the phone. For me, what I hear on the phone is a HUGE gauge of how I can except to be treated at the clinic, veterinarian’s office, physician’s office and so forth. Clinics may be upset with me for suggesting this, but I would give them a call. Double check hours, protocols for appointments and walk-ins, cost of services and so forth. How they treat you on the phone will likely be similar to how you are treated in person.
Did you know…
- Millions of healthy cats, dogs and other pets are euthanized in the U.S. each year.
- On average, about 65% of animals that end up in shelters are euthanized.
- Purebred animals account for about 30% or more of homeless pets at shelters.
“Fixed” pets are healthier.
- They live longer, healthier lives.
- They have fewer health problems, including some that are serious.
- Females do not get uterine or ovarian cancer and have fewer occurrences of breast cancer.
- Males do not get testicular cancer and have fewer occurrences of prostate disease.
“Fixed” pets are more sociable.
- They are more affectionate.
- They are less likely to spray and mark territory.
- They do not go into a heat cycle, during which females can cry and attract males.
- They have fewer behavior and temperament problems.
- They are less likely to roam, run away or get into fights.
You know what they say about rabbits…
- Pet rabbits need “fixing” too!
- Altering rabbits can reduce behaviors such as lunging, mounting, spraying, and boxing.
- Spaying can prevent ovarian, mammarian and uterine cancers in females.
You have probably seen the NOOTERS Club® wide-eyed cat, dog and rabbit promoting pet spay and neuter on one of our t-shirts, nightshirts, tanks or other apparel and gift items. Pet lovers can buy these items on our website at www.nootersclub.org or at pet expos that we set up at each year around the Midwest.
But if you are part of a rescue group, you may not be aware of the ways in which NOOTERS Club® is working with rescues to help support their goals.
We have worked with groups around the U.S. in a number of ways:
- Spay/neuter campaigns. We have worked with low-cost spay / neuter clinics and rescues to raise awareness of the importance of pet spay / neuter and to facilitate the purchase of low-cost spay / neuter services. See what we did with All About Animals Rescue and Pet Supplies Plus at nootersclub.org/promotions.htm.
- We offer our merchandise at reduced wholesale prices to rescue groups that are looking for a fun, lucrative way to raise money. Email Lindaw@nootersclub.org for wholesale prices. We can also CUSTOMIZE our items with YOUR LOGO.
- Promotional support. We can develop and distribute news releases, and create flyers, posters and signage in support of rescue group fundraising and awareness-building campaigns that involve NOOTERS CLUB®. We do all of this AT NO CHARGE to rescue groups.
So if your rescue group is looking for ways to spread the word about pet spay and neuter and raise some funds in the process, NOOTERS Club® would be happy to help!
Goal is to give pet owners easy access to spay / neuter services
Owners of high-volume, low-cost spay / neuter clinics in the United States and Canada can now register their clinics online to get listed in the comprehensive NOOTERS Club® directory of spay / neuter services.
The online directory, compiled by NOOTERS Club,® a Michigan company that designs and markets a variety of whimsical apparel and other items promoting pet spay / neuter, includes hundreds of spay /neuter clinics in most states and across Canada.
Registration is easy and there is no charge. Clinics simply go to http://www.nootersclub.org/lowcostspayneuter/lowcostspayneuterform.htm and fill out the online form. Requested information includes name of clinic, state, city / area of service, website, contact phone number and email, qualification requirements for pet owners and special services provided such as transportation to and from the clinic and feral cat programs.
Once the information is reviewed by NOOTERS Club®, the listing gets posted online in one to three business days.
To be eligible for a listing, clinics have to:
- Be dedicated to high-volume pet spay / neuter
- Offer significantly discounted spay / neuter services
- Provide complete requested information
The NOOTERS Club® online directory of spay / neuter clinics is organized by state. Go to http://www.nootersclub.org/lowcostspayneuter/
NOOTERS Club® products are recognized by the whimsical dog, cat and rabbit that appear on its t-shirts, doggie t-shirts, nightshirts, tank tops, vehicle magnets and other merchandise. Visit the NOOTERS Club® on-line store at http://www.nootersclub.org/onlinestore/. The company donates a part of its proceeds to animal rescue groups around the U.S.
What is NOOTERS Club®? We get asked this all the time. Well, we are a small company that is using our own money to reach out to pet owners. We do not ask for or accept donations. Instead we donate our time, our merchandise and part of our proceeds to as many rescue groups as we can afford to.
You have probably seen our whimsical merchandise – perhaps online ( www.nootersclub.org) or at one of the pet expos that we participate in throughout the Midwest. We are also more than just a bunch of cute t-shirts! While people find our cartoons uplifting and funny, they also carry a serious message. What is NOOTERS Club® doing to help end pet overpopulation? We are:
- Raising awareness though our whimsical cat, dog and rabbit “My Pet’s a Member,” “Heavy Petting “and “Prevent Littering” apparel and gift items. We find that using humor helps us open up conversations and gets people talking about their pet.
- Collecting and posting information and links on many low-cost spay / neuter clinics as we can get our hands on! Go to http://www.nootersclub.org/lowcostspayneuter/ Let us know if you know of any clinics that are not listed and we will add them!
- Partnering with low-cost clinics to help bring more people in their doors. For example, at the All American Pet Expo in Columbus, we handed out flyers and gave away free t-shirts and window decals to pet owners pre-paying for spay/neuter at SOS of Ohio.
If you are with a clinic that would like to be included in our online low-cost spay / neuter directory, or would like to partner with NOOTERS Club® in some way, please contact Lindaw@nootersclub.org or fill out the form at http://www.nootersclub.org/lowcostspayneuter/lowcostspayneuterform/.