Before Surgery

Is your pet scheduled for surgery with us? Below you will find information on how to prepare yourself and your pet for their appointment!

If you have not yet made your spay/neuter appointment with us, click here to reserve one.

1) Vaccinations

Our veterinarians recommend that pets be fully-vaccinated against communicable disease (distemper, parvo, and upper respiratory disease) 2 weeks prior to surgery. However, if needed, we are able to vaccinate at the time of surgery. Indiana state law requires a current rabies vaccination for your pet. If they have already had a recent rabies vaccination, please bring proof in the form of a rabies certificate. (Tags alone are not acceptable forms of proof.) We are otherwise required to administer one at the time of surgery for a charge of $17. Pets must weigh at least 3 lbs and no more than 100 lbs.

2) The Night Before Surgery

For their safety, pets over the age of 4 months need to have all food and treats withheld after 9:00 pm the night before surgery. Water must also be withheld after midnight. Pets 4 months and younger may have food until 6:00 am the day of surgery.

Pets must be kept indoors or confined the night prior to surgery (including trapped feral cats.) This ensures that they are not eating outside without your knowledge, which could be dangerous during surgery.

3) Check-In

Surgery drop-off begins promptly at:

8:00 am Central time for dogs
8:15 am Central time for cats

Due to our strict schedule, your pet may not be admitted if you are late. Please allow up to 1 hour for the check-in process. If you wish, you may collect paperwork before your appointment to save time. General business hours to pick up surgery forms in advance are Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. You will need one surgery form per animal.

If you need directions, our address is Vanderburgh Humane Society, 400 Millner Industrial Drive, Evansville, IN 47710.

Please DO NOT leave your animal in the car unattended! This is dangerous no matter what temperature it is outside. All dogs must be leashed, and cats & rabbits must be in their own individual carriers. If you don’t have enough carrier(s) for your cat or rabbit, you can purchase a cardboard one from us for $5.

4) Overnight Stay

All animals are held overnight and released the following morning at 7:30 am Central time. We do not board pets and we need all open cages for the next day’s patients. Animals that are picked up late may be subject to a late fee which will be added to your invoice (see below.)

5) Payment

We accept payment in the form of cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. We do noaccept personal checks, American Express, or CareCredit. We will invoice you electronically after your pet's procedure is completed. You can either pay this online or pay in-person at the time of pickup, but regardless, payment in full is due at the time of pickup.

6) About the Surgery

In female animals, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall which makes them unable to get pregnant. It’s called an ovariohysterectomy. In male animals, the scrotum is not removed; only the testicles (castration.) This prevents the production of sperm, meaning they will no longer be able to father puppies, kittens, or kits. Our patients are completely asleep during surgery, and are unable to feel or move. Slow-release pain medication is given to every animal and is included in the cost of surgery.

7) Tattoos

We’ll give your pet some awesome ink, free of charge! Your pet will receive a small green tattoo on their abdomen near the incision site (both male and female.) It’s not another incision. It’s just a small score in the top layers of the skin filled with tattoo ink and covered with surgical glue. The tattoo will ensure that anyone examining your animal in the future will know they’ve been sterilized, since it can be hard to tell once they’ve healed. Tattooing is a universal practice with most veterinarians and high-volume spay & neuter clinics like ours. (For males, a small area of the fur around the tattoo may be shaved for this reason even though they don’t actually have an incision on their stomach. Don’t be alarmed.)


The Vanderburgh Humane Society Davidson Rausch Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic adheres to the standards for the 
Spay/Neuter Medical Care Guidelines developed in 2008, and updated in 2016, by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ Veterinary Task Force to Advance Spay/Neuter.

Our Clinic is the proud 24th member of the ASPCA Clinic Mentorship, formerly known as the National Spay/Neuter Response Team (NSNRT).