Managing Adoptions of Unaltered Animals with Spay/Neuter Delays

Managing the adoption of unaltered pets may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!

Use your shelter software program

Many popular shelter software programs (i.e. PetPoint, Shelter Manager, Chameleon) have a voucher function that allows you to add a spay/neuter voucher to the animal’s record. This voucher can be printed/sent to the adopter when you process the adoption; and a report can be run to gather a list of the animals with unredeemed vouchers once normal operations have resumed.

Other programs (i.e. Shelter Buddy, ShelterLuv) have the option to select/generate “Adopted unaltered” as a status/attribute for animals. A report can be run to gather a list of animals with this status once normal operations have resumed as well.

Make your own system with a basic spreadsheet

If you don’t currently utilize a software program or are worried about ease of getting the necessary information from reports once normal operations resume, consider making tracking spreadsheet. This can easily be accomplished online via programs such as Google Sheets, or via a spreadsheet program on an organizational computer +/- the ability to save to a network (if available). The following information should be included:

Animals should be added to the list when they are made available for adoption. Adopters’ information can be added once the animal is adopted.

Once normal operations are to resume, a staff member can call adopters and schedule the pet for their spay neuter. Adopters may also elect to have their new pet spayed/neutered at their regular veterinarian once normal operations have resumed, but should provide proof so the animal can be removed from the list.

Regardless of how you are tracking your unaltered animals, we recommend that you include language in the pet’s adoption packet — whether it be in the medical record, on a voucher or both — that alerts adopters to the animal’s intact status.

Example Spay/Neuter Voucher Language:

“Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are following animal welfare industry guidelines and only performing emergency surgeries at this time in order to practice social distancing and reduce the use of surgical disposables needed so desperately for human health care.  Therefore, this pet has NOT been spayed/neutered.

This pet is being adopted with a voucher to return for spay/neuter once operations in the shelter return to normal. We will be tracking unaltered adoptions and reaching out to schedule, but also feel free to check back with us. You may seek spay/neuter at your primary care veterinarian at your own cost, should you wish to complete the surgery sooner.

In the meantime, if you are experiencing issues with your pet that you are concerned may be related to their unaltered status — for example a female cat showing signs of heat or a female dog with vulvar bleeding — please call us and let us know so we can strategize to help you.

Thank you for your understanding and your assistance in keeping our staff safe during this difficult time.

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