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Get pets spayed or neutered at reduced rates this week

In recognition of Spay Day USA, some Salt Lake, Davis, Summit and Weber county veterinarians will offer reduced rates for spaying and neutering pets on Tuesday, Feb. 24, or the entire week.

"Now is the best time of the year to spay or neuter your animals, before the peak of the spring breeding season when shelters must euthanize hundreds of newborn kittens and puppies every day," says Cheryl Smith, executive director of Wasatch Humane and coordinator of the Spay Day project in Utah.Wasatch Humane is a Bountiful-based nonprofit organization that works to reduce pet overpopulation and animal cruelty in Utah.

Under the program, the cost of spaying cats is $25 and female dogs (up to 35 pounds), $40, while neutering for a cat costs $15. Male dogs up to 50 pounds will be neutered for $25. An extra $5 should be added for each additional 10 pounds.

Generally, the cost for spaying and neutering is discounted about 50 percent, Smith said.

The surgery is safe and routine. Animals are completely anesthetized for the procedure and in most cases can go home the same day, she pointed out. Many pet owners are under the false assumption that a female cat or dog should be allowed to have one litter before being spayed. That is a myth, Smith said.

"By spaying her before she goes into her first heat, you can reduce to zero a female dog or cat's chances of getting cancer," Smith said.

For health and safety reasons, some clinics may require that animals be current on their vaccinations.

Smith released the following list of clinics and their addresses and phone numbers and the dates for discounts:

- Salt Lake area - A Gentle Vet, 3337 W. 3500 South, Feb. 23-27, 968-9932; All About Pets, 4732 Highland Drive, Feb. 23-27, 272-5557; Alta Veterinary Hospital, 8052 S. 700 East, Feb. 23-276, 566-1234; Central Valley, 55 E. Miller Ave., Feb. 23-27, 487-1321; Hunter Animal Hospital, 5272 W. 3500 South, Feb. 23-27, 968-0123; Pet Stop Veterinary, 44 N. 800 West, Feb. 24 only, 531-0662.

Sandy Animal Clinic, 9347 S. 700 East, Feb. 24 only, 566-2410; Southeast Valley Veterinary Clinic, 10572 S. 700 East, Feb. 23-27, 571-8050; VCA All Pet Animal Hospital, 2530 W. 4700 South, Taylorsville, and 9860 S. 700 East, Sandy, Feb. 23-27, 966-4700; Town & Country Veterinary Hospital, 1220 S. State, Feb. 24 only, 328-8543; Wasatch Springs, 855 N. Beck St., Feb. 23-27, 298-2207; and West Valley Veterinary, 3875 W. 3500 South Feb. 23-27, 966-4219.

- Davis County - Animal Clinic at 500 South, 463 W. 500 South, Bountiful, Feb. 24 only, 292-8228; Bountiful Small Animal Hospital, 880 S. 500 West, Bountiful, year-round, 298-8508 or 275-0733; Parrish Creek Veterinary, 124 W. Parrish Lane, Centerville, Feb. 24 only, 298-2014; and Wilson Veterinary Hospital, 1075 N. 500 East, North Salt Lake, 298-3974, Feb. 24 only.

- Summit County - Park City Animal Clinic, 1950 Woodbine, Park City, 649-0710, Feb. 23-27.

- Weber County - Central Weber Animal Hospital, 1689 W. 2550 South, Ogden, 394-4208, Feb. 23-27.