Why are you using a sliding scale?
We are using a sliding scale to create a sustainable program. We want to ensure ongoing accessibility to affordable veterinary surgery for those that cannot afford full price. The full fee prices more accurately reflect what it actually costs our organization to deliver our services at a sustainable level. Our goal is to make our services affordable for all income levels. Our low-income neighbors will be asked to pay tier 1 rates, which are below our own costs.
What does subsidized mean?
Subsidized means that higher-income clients will pay rates that are affordable to them in tier 2 or tier 3, which will help cover part of the cost of services for our lower-income clients. By covering the difference between what low income clients can pay and our actual cost, we ensure that every cat and dog in need that we can help has access to our services, regardless of their caretakers’ income level.
If I qualify for a subsidized fee, will my pet receive the same care as someone who pays the full fee?
Yes. Every animal we serve receives the same high-quality surgical care.
If I can afford full price, why should I choose Fix Our Ferals instead of anywhere else?
We are experts in spay/neuter surgery and anesthesia, and we have years of experience doing non-spay/neuter surgeries. Your pet will receive high quality care AND you will be supporting our mission to ensure that all cats and dogs have access to quality affordable care. You will be helping an animal in need get the spay/neuter or essential surgery it needs but would otherwise not receive because their families or caretakers cannot afford full price. (Many of our referrals for SN surgery come from local general practitcioners. If you have a GP for your pet, we encourage you to discuss with them when and where to have your pet fixed. In any case, please spay and neuter your pets.)
What if I can’t afford the Tier 1 prices?
We will not turn away pets and their families due to financial constraints. If you are concerned about your ability to afford our prices, please contact our clinic. Our Community Program Manager will discuss options available to you.
Do I need to be a resident of Contra Costa County to use your services, or to donate?
Anyone from anywhere can use our services. We may have specific grants that may have residency restrictions based on grantor terms, but our staff will do our best to help you and your animal regardless of where you live. Anyone can donate online by visiting this page.
What kind of anesthetic drugs and pain management do you provide?
We subscribe to the concept of “multi-modal, pre-emptive, balanced analgesia and anesthesia.” We use opioids, local anesthetics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. The strategy is to block the pain receptors at different steps along the pain pathway, and to block the pain receptors BEFORE causing them to fire. All our patients are intubated, meaning we have control of their airway for the entire duration of anesthesia. We place IV Catheters and administer IV fluids based on individual patient needs. For a fascinating read on pain management in animals, see: HERE
What happens if I have questions after the surgery?
Contact us at (510) 215-9300 or email us at [email protected]. If you think your pet needs emergency attention when our clinic is closed, contact Pets Referral Center in Berkeley, or OakVet in Oakland, or BAVS in San Leandro.
Does my pet need to have all his/her vaccines before surgery?
Short answer is no. But because your pet will be in the vicinity of others, we encourage you to have your pets properly vaccinated according to your vet’s recommendations. We also provide core vaccines if you need them.
Do you need lab work before surgery?
We don’t need pre-operative lab work, but if you have concerns about your pet’s general health, we encourage you to discuss with your GP.
How young or how old can my pet be for surgery?
We routinely anesthetize puppies and kittens as young as 8 weeks for rescue groups and shelters. We don’t have an upper age limit for spay/neuter surgery, and we may modify our anesthetic protocol if needed. We count the senior dogs from Muttville as our regular clinic patients!
What is a community cat?
A free-roaming or community cat has no real “owner.” They may be friendly to humans or they may be unsocialized (some people refer to unsocialized free-roaming cats as “feral,” although that word is used less often now than in the past).
Why do you tip the ear of feral/community cats?
A tipped ear indicates to anyone that sees the cat or traps the cat that the cat is already altered and doesn’t need anything else or to be brought to a shelter as a stray cat. Tipped means taken care of. Ear tipping is the nationally recognized sign of an altered feral cat.
How many community cats can I bring to you in one day?
All cats must have an appointment, the number you can bring depends on the number of appointments we have available Please call the clinic or book your appointments online.
Do I have to have the ear tipped?
If the cat is a free roaming/feral cat the ear must be tipped to prevent the cat from being taken to a shelter or undergoing anesthetic if trapped by someone else. If you chose not to tip the ear you will not be eligible for the TNR package and will pay standard rates.
Are there extra charges if my dog or cat is in heat or pregnant?
How do I register the microchip?
Go to Found.org and in a few easy steps, you will have your chip properly registered. Make sure to update your information if you move or acquire a new phone number, etc. Found Animals allows you to register any brand of microchip for free, as well.
What are signs of post-op pain?
Reluctance to engage in normal behaviors, being withdrawn, walking “funny”, not wanting to eat, looking at the incision, chewing at the incision. In cats, lack of grooming. Note that unsocialized community cats may refuse to eat or groom if they are stressed from being held captive. Your pet will act differently the night of surgery. This is due to the effects of anesthesia and opioids, and not necessarily pain. In all cases, contact us if you have any concerns. Your pet will be provided with pain medication to go home if our staff deems it necessary.
What do I do if my dog/cat seems painful after surgery?
Contact us at [email protected], call us at 510-215-9300, or contact your local ER. Make sure you bring your take-home paperwork with you.
Will my pet be given antibiotics?
Only if indicated, such as if your pet has a pre-existing infection, or circumstances of the surgery. Your pet will not need antibiotics to go home.
My dog/cat has other issues: umbilical hernia/cherry eye/undescended testicle/dewclaws/retained teeth. Can you help?
We can help with some of these. Contact our clinic to discuss.