News Details

Public Spay and Neuter Clinic Closure + FAQ

Palo Alto Animal Services has proudly operated a low cost spay and neuter clinic for over 40 years. Over that time, we have altered tens of thousands of dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, and more which in turn, has saved countless lives and helped the pet overpopulation problem in our community.

Unfortunately due to a current lack of staffing, and planned changes in shelter management in the near future (see history) we have decided to temporarily close our public  spay and neuter clinic. Our shelter animals will still receive the same high quality care they always have, and our weekly vaccine clinic will continue every Wednesday from 12pm-1pm as usual. (It's always good to call ahead of time to confirm.)

We sincerely appreciate your business, loyalty, and the opportunity to help reduce pet overpopulation in our community. The City of Palo Alto remains committed to this important work. In this interim period, as the City transitions to a pubic private partnership with local non-profit Pets In Need to operate the Palo Alto Animal Shelter, we ask residents to use the low cost spay and neuter services offered by Pets In Need at their Redwood City location less than 5 miles from downtown Palo Alto. There are also several other options for low cost spay and neuter surgeries listed below. Once the public private partnership between the City of Palo Alto and Pets In Need is in place, all Animal Shelter services will return to normal. Thank you for your understanding of this inconvenience during this interim transition period.

Pets in Need (Redwood City)

Peninsula Humane Society (Burlingame)

Humane Society of Silicon Valley (Milpitas)

Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (Santa Clara)

San Jose Animal Care and Services (San Jose)

Santa Clara County Animal Shelter (San Martin)


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Animal Shelter closing?

No.  This is a temporary closure of the low cost spay and neuter clinic beginning on December 8.  All other services will continue to be offered including adoptions, licensing and field services by Animal Control Officers. 

What is the reason for the temporary closure of the spay and neuter clinic? 

The clinic is already at capacity for spay/neuter appointments already booked, and due to several unanticipated personnel shortages at the shelter, we are unable to take additional appointments.  It is our hope that we will be able to begin offering public appointments again in 2018, and we are currently exploring various options to allow us to do that.

Can you hire temporary staff?

Hiring qualified staff members is a lengthy process.  With the planned transition of our shelter to Pets in Need, staffing needs are in flux, and hiring new City employees at this point in time is not an option.  We will continue to provide services (except for public spay/neuter appointments) with existing staff until the planned transition is finalized.  For more information about Pets in Need and the City Animal Shelter, go to:

When will the low cost spay and neuter clinic reopen to the public? 

It is unknown at this time, but we are currently exploring various options that may allow us to re-open the clinic after the winter holidays.  In the meantime, there are a number of clinics, including Pets in Need in Redwood City, as well as most animal shelters and human societies in the Bay Area that offer low/no cost spay and neutering services for pets. 

I have a spay/neuter appointment already scheduled, will it still be honored?

Yes, all appointments already processed and booked before December 8 will be honored as usual.

What about stray/homeless animals? 

Stray and surrendered animals brought to the shelter are not affected by the temporary closure of our spay and neuter clinic.  Our veterinarian and registered vet technician will continue to provide the same care, and all animals placed for adoption will still receive spay and neuter surgery.

Is the weekly low-cost vaccine clinic affected?

No. We still offer low-cost vaccines for dogs and cats every Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Where can I take my small animal (i.e. rabbit, guinea pig, rat) to get spayed or neutered?

Currently only the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and the Peninsula Humane Society will neuter rabbits. Other small pets will need to go to a private veterinarian.

Rescue groups use the clinic to spay and neuter their animals. Will they still be able to use the clinic?

Eventually we hope to arrange for a few days per month to accommodate surgeries of animals from rescue groups. Please check back with us in the coming weeks/months.