You have questions.  We have answers.

Knowing what to expect will make surgery day less stressful.

Due to COVID-19, our check-in and check-out procedures have changed.  Please be patient with our staff.

Check-In:  7:30 to 8 AM | Pick-Up 4-4:30 PM

Veterinary services by appointment only. 

Please wear a mask. Check-in and Check-out are in the lobby. Please enter through the front doors.

Mask are Required

If you have a fever of 100.4 or higher, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please do not come to KHS.

Someone else may bring your pet on your behalf, or we can reschedule.

Our office is at 2272 River Street, Kalamazoo MI 49048.

Our driveway is on River Street, just south of the I-94 Business Loop in Comstock Township.

There is a large sign at our entrance.

Still have questions?

Call us at (269) 345-1181 or send us a chat message.

Spay and Neuter FAQ

Spay & Neuter Info

What is spaying or neutering?

Neutering is the removal of an animal's reproductive organs, either all of it or a considerably large part. "Neutering" is often used incorrectly to refer only to male animals, but the term actually applies to both sexes. The male-specific term is castration, while spaying is usually reserved for female animals. You may also hear "fixing" or "altered" in reference to neutering. The Kalamazoo Humane Society offers neutering for cats and dogs only.

When should I get my pet neutered?

The Kalamazoo Humane Society can safely neuter kittens and puppies as early as 8 weeks old, as long as the pet also weighs a minimum of 2 lbs. KHS cannot neuter dogs over 6 years of age. Senior pets may still be able to be safely neutered, but are not ideal candidates for the procedure through our program. We recommend you contact your own veterinarian to determine if your pet can be neutered.

Is the low-cost spay and neuter program open to anyone?

At this time, our program is open to the public with no residential or income requirements or limitations.
Our program is intended for low-income pet owners who want to spay or neuter but cannot afford to pay the full cost of surgery at a local veterinary clinic. To keep the cost to our clients down, we used donations and grant funding to subsidize the cost of surgery. The actual cost of each surgery we perform is greater than the cost our clients pay. Our low-cost service is streamlined so that we are able to perform as many safe and efficient surgeries as possible each day. In many cases, our clients have never been to a veterinarian before, and may never see one again depending on the financial limitations of the owner. Our service was designed to make neutering affordable for all pet owners, regardless of income, but that does not mean our program is ideal for all pets or pet owners. While our service is a safe and effective, we recommend using your own veterinarian to neuter your pet if you are able to afford doing so. Your own vet is able to offer more one-on-one care before and after your pet's surgery, and throughout the life of your pet. Pets that are at an increased risk for complications during or after surgery would benefit greatly from more personalized service at a local veterinary clinic. Having a good relationship with a veterinarian is very important.

Are your veterinarians volunteers?

Our veterinarians are paid and are licensed in the state of MI. Our veterinary assistants are also trained professionals and are paid staff members. We do utilize trained volunteers to assist our veterinary team with caring for the pets we have each day. No volunteers participate in performing surgical procedures.

Do you offer any other veterinary services?

Basic vaccinations, microchips and limited testing services are available to add-on to a cat or dog surgery. For a complete list of our services and prices, visit our Veterinary Services list.

Can I check on my pet during the day?

Calling to check on a pet is highly discouraged. If there is something you need to know before you pick your pet up, we will call you and discuss that with you. Interruptions to check on pets can cause unwanted distractions for our surgery team, and can also slow down our process. We know you love your pet and want to make sure he/she is doing well, but the best thing you can do for your pet during surgery is to wait patiently, and ensure that our staff is giving each pet their undivided and uninterrupted attention. We will call you when your pet is ready for pick-up, or if there is anything that needs to be brought to your attention. Please keep your phone available, and make sure it is able to accept voice messages.

Check-In & Check-Out

How do I check-in on surgery day?

Due to COVID-19, our check-in procedures have recently changed. If any of these apply to you on your scheduled surgery date, please make arrangements to have someone else bring your pet to KHS, or call us to reschedule:

  • You have new symptoms including a dry cough unrelated to a chronic health
    condition, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, diarrhea, chills or sore throat

  • You have had close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 through a positive test result in the last 14 days
  • Have you had a fever of 100.4° or greater in the last 24 hours
For check-in, please follow these guidelines:
  • Arrival time is 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM
  • Enter lobby through front door. Masks are required to enter the building. We ask that you abide by social distancing protocols when interacting with KHS staff and other patrons.
    • DOGS: Please leave your dog in the car until further instructions are provided during the check-in process.
    • CATS: All domestic cats must arrive in a clean, secure carrier and may come in the buildinng for check-in with you.
  • Any additional services or products must be purchased before your scheduled surgery date. Extra services can be purchased by phone with a debit or credit card, or you can call to make arrangements to pay in person with cash, check or credit. Payment by phone is preferred.

How and when do I pick up my pet after surgery?

Due to COVID-19, our check-in procedures have recently changed. If any of these apply to you on your scheduled surgery date, please make arrangements to have someone else pick up your pet at KHS:

  • You have new symptoms including a dry cough unrelated to a chronic health
    condition, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, diarrhea, chills or sore throat

  • You have had close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 through a positive test result in the last 14 days
  • Have you had a fever of 100.4° or greater in the last 24 hours
For discharge, please follow these guidelines:
  • All pets must be picked up no later than 4:30 PM.
  • A mask will need to be worn for the safety of our staff.
  • Check-out is in our lobby; please enter through the front doors.
  • Any unpaid balances must be taken care of at this time.

After Surgery & Recovery

What do I need to know about caring for my pet after surgery?

Most cats and dogs recover without too much intervention on your part. The most important aspect of recovery is that your pet is calm, and is not overactive. Overactivity is the number one cause of complications after surgery. We have a guide to help you care for your pet after surgery available on our website. We will also give you this guide on the day of your pet's surgery. You can review them here: View the Cat guide | View the Dog guide

Does my pet have to wear an e-collar (cone collar) after surgery?

E-collars are a very inexpensive tool to aide in recovery. The purpose of the collar is to prevent your pet from being able to lick the healing area. Just one lick can lead to a serious infection. Infections can result in additional surgery, treatments, and even death. E-collars are available for purchase at our office. View our price list for details. Wearing an E-Collar There is no need to purchase anything more expensive or special, but you may choose to purchase a fabric or inflatable collar from a pet retailer. The collar should stay on for the entire recovery period of 10-14 days, 24 hours a day. While your pet will be able to eat and drink normally with the collar on, he/she should not be able to reach or lick the healing surgical incision. Do not cut or modify the collar in any way. A properly fitted collar will not need any adjustments. Surgical Suits Do not purchase a surgery suit for your pet. These suits have resulted in serious infections and complications, and do not allow the surgery site to drain properly. Your dog can also still chew and bite the healing tissue through the suit which can cause complications and delay proper healing.

Before A Surgery

What if my female is in heat or pregnant on her appointment day?

Your female cat or dog can still be spayed if she is in heat, possibly pregnant, or obviously pregnant. Unless you have personal or ethical objections to moving forward with the procedure, there is no need to cancel or reschedule your appointment. In most cases, we can still safely do the spay surgery. If your cat or dog is pregnant, there may be an additional fee for the surgery. For questions about fees, please see our price list or contact our office for more information. If you choose to cancel an appointment due to your pet being pregnant, you can be refunded or rescheduled. Your pet will need to be done lactating in order to be spayed.

What if my male has one or both testicles undescended (still inside the body)?

Undescended testicles (also known as cryptorchidism) is a condition in which one or both of the testicles have not moved down into their proper place in the scrotum. In many cases can still do the surgery on a cryptorchid cat or dog. A pre-surgical examination will determine if your dog is a good cadidate for surgery through our program. In the event we cannot do the surgery, your prepaid fees will be refunded to you and we will recommend your pet be neutered by your regular veterinarian.

Do I need to do anything special to prepare my pet for surgery?

There are a few things you'll need to do before your pet arrives for surgery. The most important things to know are:

  • Your pet does not need to fast overnight. Please feed a small meal (about one-third of the normal meal) in the morning, up to about two hours prior to arrival at the clinic. Arrival time is 7:30 am, so your pet can have food until about 5:30 am. Drinking water must remain available until your pet gets in the car to come to KHS. Please note: if your pet is under 6 months of age, DO NOT FAST. Pets under 6 months of age should not go longer than 4 hours without food.
  • Your pet will need to arrive with a sturdy leash and collar or hard-sided pet carrier.
  • If you apply flea product, groom or bathe your pet, do that a few days prior to your appointment. Pets will not be able to be bathed for up to 14 days after surgery.
  • Have a secure and safe place for your pet to recover. A crate, spare room, or other area free of debris or hazards is important.

What if my pet is taking medication or supplements?

Drug interations can be very dangerous. Please be honest with us about any medications or supplements your pet is on. We can tell you if you'll need to postpone surgery or if it's safe to proceed. If your pet is on any kind of steroid, your pets surgery will need to be postponed to a later date. If you are giving your pet CBD supplements, we highly recommend discontinuing the use of any CBD products at least a week prior to surgery. "Pet owners should be cautious when considering use of a cannabidiol product. The label should be checked for a common artificial sweetener called xylitol that is extremely toxic to dogs. CBD can alter the metabolism of many commonly used veterinary prescription drugs, including fluoxetine, gabapentin, ketoconazole and phenobarbital. Regular use may also alter the effects of common anesthetic drugs. One of the recent studies has found that CBD can impact the liver and cause an elevation in a liver enzyme called alkaline phosphatase in dogs." - Dr. Lauren Bury, Westgate Pet Clinic (April 2019, click for full article)