Spay and Neuter


Each year, approximately ten thousand healthy cats are euthanized in Portland alone. For cats in particular, the reason is most often overpopulation. There simply isn’t enough space in our shelters to accommodate the thousands of cats that are found “stray” or surrendered by their owners when no longer convenient. Pregnant stray cats are dumped in neighborhoods or in the country, and euthanized at shelters during kitten season because the resources are not available to accommodate the kittens. The list of tragic reasons why healthy animals are killed goes on and on, but the core problem remains overpopulation. The cost to the community is staggering. Millions of dollars are spent each year euthanizing and disposing of our unwanted pet population, in addition to responding to constant complaints of nuisance, strays or dead animals.

Please be a responsible guardian of your pets (and your neighbor’s pets, if necessary) and have them spayed or neutered. Cats and dogs should be spayed or neutered prior to sexual maturity which typically occurs around five months of age. The procedure can safely be performed on cats and dogs anytime after 8 weeks of age.

Please, do the responsible thing and help set a good example for others. SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PETS!

Click here for spay neuter assistance and information

Tom and Mom Cat Special

2009 marks our Eighth Annual Tom and Mom Cat Special.  Coordinated as a team effort with other area animal welfare groups, the program is held for one month, from Valentines Day to St Patricks Day, in honor of the national Spay Day USA event. Each year, we solicit veterinarians to participate by offering a minimum of ten $10 cat neuters and ten $15 cat spays to low income households. The event was created to encourage spay/neuter of cats from households who couldn’t otherwise afford to do the procedure. To-date, nearly 5000 cats have been spayed or neutered as part of our program. Wow! That’s a lot of births we’ve prevented!

Click here to learn about this year’s event.

Washington County Animal Services Spay/Neuter Program

It was a long road, and lots of hard work but as of February 2003 all dogs and cats are spayed or neutered at the Washington County Animal Services Shelter (also known as Bonnie L Hays Small Animal Shelter) prior to adoption! This effectively eliminates the risk of non-compliance on spay/neuter deposits (followed by “oops, they got out and got pregnant.”)

Washington County is the first county shelter in the state of Oregon to spay and neuter all of the animals on-site prior to adoption.

A room at the shelter has been remodeled to be the new surgery room for onsite spaying and neutering.

The benefits to the animals as well as the community are numerous. Spay/neuter prior to adoption will reduce the long-term pet overpopulation problem significantly.

  • By reducing the number of pets being born, the likelihood of abandoned pets getting new homes will increase. The shelters and rescue groups will have more opportunity to educate adopters on how to responsibly choose and care for their new pet.
  • An increase in the number of animals adopted from the shelter is expected by promoting within the community, that animals adopted from the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter have already been spayed and neutered.


We thank the staff at Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter for their interest in taking a gigantic step toward a more humane future for our companion animals. The staff at the shelter has been very enthusiastic and willing to accept a great deal of change in their daily activities to help make this program a reality. Let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and efforts.

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