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Free to Low Cost Spay & Neuter Program

Information about the free to low cost spay and neuter program.

OPENING SOON!  

Animal Welfare Preventative Care Clinic.

We will be providing spay/neuter for cats and dogs along with Vaccinations and microchips.
Please sign up through our Lottery program below.

 

AWD Lottery Program

Low and moderate income residents of Albuquerque seeking spay/neuter services should apply for the AWD Spay/Neuter Lottery.

Apply Now Aplica ya

Your application will stay in the pool of applicants until it has been selected or until anything changes with the program. Contact us at [email protected] if you need to be removed from the lottery.

If your application is selected during this lottery, you will be contacted via phone and/or email address you provided in your application. If you are contacted, you will have 1 week to respond before your application is placed back into the pool of applicants. Please regularly check your phone number and email address.

Please note: This is not for immediate Spay/neuter services for court dates or medical reasons. Please contact your private veterinarian if you need immediate assistance. Thank you.

For any questions about your application status, please contact us at [email protected].

Cat - Spay Neuter

The City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department offers free to low cost spay or neuter service vouchers for the cats and dogs of low-income and moderate-income Albuquerque residents. Surgery vouchers are through the East Side Animal Shelter or participating veterinary clinic locations only. Details regarding qualifications and services are provided in the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

View our list of available spay and neuter resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I care about spaying or neutering my pets?

Every year, thousands of animals are born into short lives of suffering and death in Albuquerque because people did not spay or neuter their pets. There are simply not enough homes for the dogs and cats that are born because of this type of neglect.

Spaying and neutering provide health benefits in addition to preventing litters. Spaying helps prevent uterine infection and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Neutering can prevent testicular cancer if done before 6 months of age. Neutering also reduces roaming, and nuisances such as foul odors in spraying by cats. It can reduce aggressiveness and fighting among both dogs and cats.

Under most circumstances, it is against the law in Albuquerque to own a dog or cat unless you have it spayed or neutered. There are programs that can provide the services at no charge for low-income and moderate-income residents. There also are programs that will help you arrange for the free spay and neuter of the street cats in your neighborhood, to help control the cat population while providing humane treatment of the animals.

How do I qualify for the free to low cost spay or neuter of my pets?

Qualification is based on:

  • Residence within the City of Albuquerque
  • Total household income

Are there any disqualifications for free to low cost spay or neuter of my pets?

Yes, the following factors disqualify your pet from free to low cost spay/neutering services:

  • Pet owners under 18 years of age
  • Any pet weighing less than 3 pounds
  • Pets over 8 years of age
  • Aggressive animals
  • Over weight pets (Dr's discretion)
  • High Anesthesia Risk Pets ie: Bulldogs, Pugs, and Persian Cats (Dr's discretion)
  • Any animal assessed by the participating veterinarian as a surgical risk

Other issues:

  • For information about sterilizing the unowned street cats in your neighborhood, contact Street Cat Hub, (505) 247-9357. The group is well versed in where to get traps, how to use them, where to take the cats for sterilization and what to do afterward.

What are the income guidelines for the city program?

The program is offered to those who do not exceed the moderate-income level for their family size. Participants are classified as low income and moderate income in accordance with city law. The income figures are derived from federal guidelines for Albuquerque.

Annual Gross Income Limits
Family Size Low Income Moderate Income
1 $12,490 $24,980
2 $16,910 $33,820
3 $21,330 $42,660
4 $25,750 $51,500
5 $30,170 $60,340
6 $34,590 $69,180
7 $39,010 $78,020
8 $43,430 $86,860

Do I need to qualify to receive spay or neuter services?

Yes. You must qualify as low-income or moderate-income to receive free spay or neuter Service Voucher which includes a vaccine, and microchip services. Proof of qualification is required at the time you pick-up a service voucher.

What if I don't reside in Albuquerque?

Please refer to your local city or county government for other options.

For Bernalillo County residents, Bernalillo County Animal Care Services provides services under the following guidelines:

  • Pets must be registered within Bernalillo County
  • A certificate will be given as partial payment for spaying/neutering a pet at a participating clinic
  • Residents can call (505) 314-0280 for more information
  • Reduced fees for low income families in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County, maximum of 2 pets.

When do I bring my proof of income?

Proof must be presented at the time of your appointment for the service voucher

What would prove low-income status?

  • Award letter for an EBT card issued by the State of New Mexico for Food Stamps, OR
  • Either the annual letter regarding benefits or the monthly benefit card for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), OR
  • Award letter for an EBT card issued by the State of New Mexico for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, OR
  • Award letter for a Medicaid health benefit card, OR
  • Current income taxes
  • Current check stubs
  • Signing and submitting an affidavit swearing that your income is within the figures listed on the table above for Low Income

What would be proof of moderate-income status?

  • Previous or current Tax Return form
  • Last 2 paycheck stubs
  • Signing and submitting an affidavit swearing that your income is within the figures listed on the table above for Moderate Income

How do I obtain the free spay or neuter service voucher?

Qualified low-income and moderate-income residents who reside within the City of Albuquerque with DOG and CATS who have no medical issues:

  • Apply to the Spay/Neuter Lottery anytime in English or Spanish.
  • If your application is selected during an upcoming lottery, you will be contacted by AWD via phone and email.
  • You will have one week to respond to AWD and claim your voucher. If you do not respond within one week, you application will be put back into the pool of lottery applicants.
  • Proof of qualifications including ID, proof of residence, and proof of income eligibility MUST be presented at the time of your appointment.
  • Vouchers are subject to the participating veterinary decisions about the condition of the dog.
  • Vouchers surgeries are performed at a private veterinary clinic who are partnering with AWD. Citizens may incur additional costs not covered by AWD, including additional charges for non-routine surgery, antibiotics, or testing. AWD cannot cover these costs, they are the responsibility of the citizen who owns the animal receiving surgery at the time of services.
  • Residents are reminded that the City of Albuquerque Free Spay/Neuter services are for City of Albuquerque residents ONLY.
    • If you reside outside the city limits in Bernalillo County, you may obtain a spay/neuter voucher by visiting the Bernalillo County Animal Control Office at 3001 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105.

What will be done for my pet?

Basic Exam,Sterilization surgery, a rabies vaccination if the pet is old enough, an upper respiratory vaccination for cats, a parvo/distemper vaccination for dogs, a microchip implant. At time of services only.

What if I found a stray cat and I have been feeding it, but I am not sure I want to keep it?

Call Street Cat Hub, (505) 247-9357.

What do I need to bring with me at the time of my scheduled voucher appointment?

  • Driver's license or official ID card
  • Proof of low-income or moderate-income status, unless you sign and submit an affidavit swearing that your income is within the figures listed on the table above for low income or moderate income.
  • Proof of vaccines within the past year if you do not want your pet revaccinated. Proof is a rabies certificate, not a pet health record.
  • An alternate contact number for the microchip registration: someone who has a different phone number than yours. If your pet is already microchipped, please tell us.

I qualify, but I don't drive. Are there any options for me?

YES!

  • Have a friend, neighbor, or relative transport your paperwork, your ID, and your proof of income.
  • Provide this person with a signed letter of permission authorizing them to transport your pet to the participating locations.

How do I find the clinic?

You will receive a list of the participating Veterinarians with your service voucher. This will have locations and phone numbers.

Which other organizations provide spay and neutering services?

Animal Humane New Mexico (these prices are subject to change. Please call ahead to confirm current pricing)

(505) 255-5523

  • Spay or neuter services are offered to qualified low-income clients by appointment only.
  • Costs for cats are $50 for males and $55 for females.
    Costs for dogs are $75 to $140 based on weight and gender.* If a pet is pregnant, in heat, or encounters unforeseen complications, the cost of surgery will be more.
  • Proof of income and a picture ID are required at pre-surgical exam ($27)
  • All sources of income must be provided for every member of the household.
  • Payment is due at time of drop off.
  • Please withhold food from your pet after 10 pm the night before surgery; leave water available all night.

Street Cat Hub

(505) 247-9357

Offers help with trapping and surgeries for unowned street cats

For Bernalillo County residents:

Bernalillo County Animal Care Services

  • Pets must be registered within Bernalillo County
  • A certificate will be given as partial payment for spaying/neutering a pet at a participating clinic
  • Residents can call (505) 314-0280 for more information
  • Reduced fees for low income families in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County, maximum of 2 pets.

Spay or Neuter License Plates

Money from the sale of New Mexico's spay-neuter license plates subsidizes spay or neuter services and can help counties prevent euthanasia of healthy animals.

Like all special license plates, the plates must be ordered from the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). Order forms can be obtained from MVD offices. Read more about specialty plates on the MVD website.