Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering?

There are numerous health benefits to your pet and our community when you spay or neuter and many risks and costs associated with NOT spaying or neutering. Our friends at the ASPCA capture many of the health and behavioral benefits here.

Age to spay or neuter: What's best?

Spaying or neutering can be done at approximately 2 months of age. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is old enough, weighs enough and is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure.

Cost: Isn’t spaying and neutering expensive?

Spaying and neutering can be very affordable if you qualify for a no-, low- or reduced-cost program. And it is definitely cheaper than:

  • a litter of puppies or kittens, or
  • medical fees if your animal were to escape and get hurt, or
  • legal fees if your animal hurt another animal or person.

What happens during a spay or neuter surgery?

Spaying (for females) and neutering (for males) removes the animal’s reproductive organs. Animals are given an examination by our veterinarian to ensure they are fit for surgery. We carefully monitor each animal as it is placed under anesthesia, when the procedure is performed, and during recovery.

Pain: Is surgery and recovery painful for my pet?

We work hard to make sure our animal patients are comfortable and safe. We use local and general anesthetic and send your pet home with pain medication after surgery. 

Boarding after surgery: Do you offer this service?

We do not provide boarding. If your pet is not picked up on time, you will be assessed a $20 boarding fee for each day your pet remains with us.

Preparation and Post-op: How should I prepare for my pet before and after surgery?

Carefully read any instructions we provide. Each animal is different but you can visit our Before and After Care page for general pre- and post-operative care instructions.

Litters: Can’t I have just one?

Spaying and neutering is associated with increased pet health and longevity of life. And the risk of higher costs and a growing unwanted pet population is much higher.

There is no health advantage to allowing your pet to have a litter and, in some cases, can make spaying or neutering more difficult later on.

Contact Information

Business Hours
*Dispatch Hours 8:00–5:30
Closed to public
Tuesday – Saturday
Adoption and Shelter Hours by Appointment Only
Phones 9:00AM to 5:30PM
*Dispatch Hours 8:00–5:30

*Dispatch is unable to answer financial questions. For assistance regarding licensing, billing and collection proceedings, please call during our phone hours to speak with customer relations staff. Due to high call volumes, there may be long hold times; we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We can also be reached by email:

Contact us by Phone
Sonoma County Animal Services
1247 Century Ct
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Donate to Animal Services

Walk Your Dog and Support Our Animal Shelter!

Download the App


Every mile you walk, WoofTrax makes a donation.

Annual Report

Annual Report

Our 2016 Annual Report can be downloaded or read on our website.

Download our annual report.

2016 Annual Report
Read our annual report on our website