FAQs

Do I need to make an appointment to have my pet spayed or neutered?

Yes! Surgery is performed Monday–Friday. Appointments can be made by calling the clinic at 319-363-1225, or by using our online Appointment Request Form. Please visit our Before Surgery page for more information on pick-up and drop-off times.

Do you spay and neuter feral cats?

Yes! The IHA Regional Spay/Neuter Clinic specializes in working with feral and free roaming cats and we offer special pricing for them. Please visit our Feral Cat page for more information on working with and scheduling feral and free roaming cats.

How old does my pet have to be for spay/neuter surgery?

Iowa Humane Alliance encourages early age spay and neuter and can perform surgery on animals that are least 8 weeks old and weigh at least 2 pounds (female rabbits must be 16 weeks old).  Puppies and kittens recover more quickly from surgery than do adult dogs and cats. In addition, sterilizing female puppies and kittens before they are 4 months old will assure that they will not have a first heat cycle.

Is my pet too old to be spayed or neutered?

Pets are never too old to have litters, and there are many benefits to spaying or neutering your older cat or dog. If your pet is over 8, we advise your pet have blood work done at your veterinarian’s office to make sure your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia. We take extra precautions with older cats and dogs to ensure that they do well with surgery. Older pets may take longer to get back to their normal routine.

Why do you tattoo the pets you do surgery on?

A tattoo is given to every animal we sterilize which will result in a small faint green line on the abdomen. This is done with a simple scoring of the skin and placement of sterile tattoo ink in the score. The tattoo may appear much darker or larger immediately after surgery due to the ink temporarily seeping into the surrounding skin, but this will wear off and eventually be a small, faint line. We feel it is important to have a readily recognizable way to identify that an animal is already sterilized to prevent unnecessary surgery in the future.

Does my animal need to be vaccinated in order to have surgery at your clinic?

No. While we strongly recommend that you vaccinate your pet prior to surgery, it is not a requirement. We do offer vaccinations at the time of surgery. A rabies vaccination is required if your pet is not already up-to-date. Combo vaccinations for both cats and dogs are highly recommended, but not required.

Can I bring my sick pet to your clinic for treatment?

The IHA Regional Spay/Neuter Clinic is not a full service veterinary clinic and we cannot diagnose or treat sick animals. We recommend that you develop a relationship with a full- service veterinarian for the life of your animal.

However, spaying and neutering your pet is one way to help him or her life a long healthy life. Some health issues, such as pyometra (infection in the uterus) or cryptorchism (undescended testicles), can be improved or even cured by spaying and neutering. If you want to get your pet altered, but are concerned about his or her health, please call the clinic to discuss the health issues before scheduling your appointment.

Why does the IHA Regional Spay/Neuter Clinic do the spay incision on cat on the side rather then the belly?

Most, but not all, of the cats spayed at our clinic will be spayed through a surgical incision on her side rather than her belly. This is called a flank spay. Because the incision with a flank spay is on the side of the body, it is easier to monitor. If a cat is nursing kittens, a flank incision is not near the mammary glands and is more comfortable for the mother post-operatively. The incision is less likely to become contaminated. If the spay incision breaks down after surgery, protrusion of vital organs through the incision is less likely with a flank incision.

When should my puppy or kitten be vaccinated?

Vaccines should begin at 6–8 weeks of age and every 3 weeks thereafter until the puppy or kitten is 16 weeks old.

Is Iowa Humane Alliance connected with animal control or the Humane Society?

No. Iowa Humane Alliance is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit. We work with shelters, rescue organizations, humane societies, and animal control agencies to help reduce animal over-population, but we do not take in or adopt out animals, nor do we enforce municipal animal control ordinances.

How can I help support Iowa Humane Alliance?

There are many ways you can help support Iowa Humane Alliance and our mission to end pet over population. Please visit our Get Involved page to learn more!