Animal shelters everywhere, including Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC), are struggling with increasing numbers of surrendered pets in their facilities. As spring approaches, many animal care agencies are concerned about litters of kittens or puppies that may soon arrive on their doorsteps. One of the best ways to help reduce the burden on animal shelters is to have your pet spayed or neutered.

February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, and February 28 is World Spay Day. Spaying or neutering, sometimes called “fixing,” is one of the greatest gifts you can give your pet, your family, and your community. These routine medical procedures not only reduce the number of animals that enter shelters, but they may also prevent health and behavioral problems from developing in a cat or dog, allowing your pet to lead a longer, healthier, and happier life.

Potential health benefits

  • Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. Spaying your pet before her first heat helps prevent uterine infections and cancerous breast tumors in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats.
  • Spaying your female pet also prevents potential complications with pregnancy, which can often be emergencies requiring immediate, expensive veterinary care.
  • Neutering your male dog or cat prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

Potential behavioral benefits

  • Your spayed female pet won’t go into heat, so you avoid the related yowling and more frequent urination.
  • Your neutered male dog will be less likely to roam away from home, risking injury in traffic and fights with other male animals.
  • Your dog might be less likely to mount other dogs, people, and inanimate objects after he’s neutered. Some aggression problems may be avoided by early neutering.
  • Your neutered male cat will be less likely to mark or spray their territory and is less likely to get into fights with other cats.

While RASKC does not offer spay and neuter services directly to the public, there are many other low-cost or free spay/neuter clinics available to help pet owners in our region. Visit to find a list.

All cats and dogs adopted from RASKC are spayed or neutered before entering the pet adoption program. They are also vaccinated and microchipped for identification. See all the pets at the King County Pet Adoption Center waiting for new homes at