If you live in Indiana – and are looking for reasonably-priced spay or neuter for your dog or cat — come to the Northern Indiana Pet Expo!
H.O.P.E. for Animals, northeast Indiana’s only high-volume, low-cost spay /neuter and wellness clinic, will be selling spay/neuter certificates at a price $5 off their regular price. So whether you have a dog or cat – male or female – you will save $5 when you pre-pay for your pet’s spay or neuter at the Expo. (Regular prices for spay/neuter range from $35 to $85 based on pet species, age and size of your pet.)
H.O.P.E. for Animals of Fort Wayne is a nonprofit organization offering safe, low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for cats and dogs regardless of the owner’s income or geographic location. The organization also offers low-cost preventative care through its on-site wellness clinic. For information, go to www.hope-for-animals.org
We get asked a lot about low-cost spay and services. One of the most frequent questions we get has to do with the level of care a pet will get at a low-cost clinic.
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.
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!