March 2020 Statement regarding COVID-19
Given the current pandemic, in an effort to reduce resource use, workload, and the potential for human exposure, shelters and spay neuter clinics have been advised by the Surgeon General to limit or discontinue "non-essential" or "elective" surgical procedures. Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association released a statement that veterinary practices can and should defer elective procedures to preserve medical supplies, but also must be able to provide medically necessary care.
For the purpose of these recommendations a non-emergency ("elective" or "non-essential") surgical procedure is one that is not urgently required in order to maintain the health of the patient. Most spays and neuters are non-emergency procedures.
Conservation of PPE is not the only reason to defer non-emergency surgeries. Either currently or in the next several weeks it is expected that shelters will experience:
- Reduced staffing in shelters as staff and volunteers become ill or need to quarantine. If the number of animals in shelters does not also decrease dramatically a crisis of care may develop with insufficient capacity and supplies to care for the animals in the shelter.
- Continued need for veterinary care for animals with reduced veterinary capacity
- Scarcity of medical equipment and supplies
- Need to limit contact between people in an effort to reduce human exposure
The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe has suspended community spay/neuter surgeries at the shelter clinic. We will still be accepting applications for the voucher program but will not be able to book appointments TBD in accordance with information presented in this continuously evolving environment.
In the meantime, please make sure you understand the income and vaccination requirements and how the program works. Please take extra care to avoid other unaltered pets, and to closely monitor your pets to ensure no unwanted litters occur. If you’re able to make an appointment with a private Veterinarian, we encourage you to do so as the wait time for this program will be delayed for several weeks or even months.
Thank you for your understanding as we navigate the consequences of this global pandemic.
Providing low-cost and FREE surgeries to qualified limited-income, full-time residents of Eastern El Dorado County, Eastern Nevada County, Eastern Placer County, Incline Village, Sierra County, or South Lake Tahoe from Glenbrook to Meyers.
The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, Town of Truckee Animal Services, The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, and several local veterinarians have combined forces to provide low-cost and FREE Community Spay and Neuter options. Through these programs, local residents who require financial assistance can obtain FREE or low-cost spay or neuter surgeries for their dogs and cats at our public animal shelter, or at participating Veterinary Hospitals.
Income based surgeries for Truckee and North Lake Tahoe residents take place at the shelter clinic in Truckee. Income based surgeries for all other residents take place at the nearest participating Veterinary Hospital.
**Because the program’s funds are limited, we ask that only pet owners who cannot afford the surgery without assistance use the voucher. This program was not established to act as a discount program, but as a financial assistance program to those in true financial need. W-2 proof of income will be required upon request. If spay/neuter surgery is not in your budget, please consider adoption from our shelter for your next pet, as every pet adopted out is already altered, microchipped, and up-to-date on vaccinations!
We offer FREE spay and neuter services to all local Pitbulls and Chihuahuas, and we welcome US military to spay/neuter their dog or cat FREE of charge, with a valid military ID or proof of service. These free surgeries for all residents take place at the shelter clinic in Truckee.
Additionally, we invite feral & community cat caretakers to alter cats under their care free of charge through our Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. TNR surgeries for all residents take place at the nearest participating Veterinary Hospital.
Only owned pets qualify for the community spay/neuter program. No rescue groups, foster organizations, strays, or shelter pets will be allowed to participate. If you have a contract for your pet with another rescue or shelter organization to provide spay/neuter assistance, please contact them for your appointment.
CSN surgery appointments completed at our shelter are scheduled once per week and are performed by HSTT's Vet, Dr. Mike Ryan, DVM. Our public animal shelter is located at 10961 Stevens Lane in Truckee. Residents of Eastern El Dorado County and South Lake Tahoe can have their pets' spay/neuter surgeries completed at participating local veterinarians in South Lake Tahoe if unable to transport their pet to Truckee.
These spots fill up quickly so there will be a wait. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY. If your pet is in heat or pregnant, the additional costs associated with the surgery will be the owner's responsibility. Please speak with our veterinarian about these fees and your options.
Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet?
Spayed or neutered dogs and cats help prevent accidental and unwanted puppies and kittens, which often become homeless pets. Altering your pets SAVES LIVES.
Also, spayed or neutered dogs and cats...
- Make better companions.
- Are less likely to roam.
- Have reduced risk of certain illnesses.
- Save you money, as pet pregnancy, birthing, and raising litters is expensive.
For more information on the critical benefits of Spay/Neuter click here, or en español.
How to apply:
1) Fill out and submit an online application. An application must be completed for each pet, by the pet's owner. The fastest way to determine eligibility is to complete the online application!
2) South Lake Tahoe residents will be contacted by HSTT's South Lake Tahoe manager, Mariel Berei, in the order that your application is received. Thank you for your patience as we provide assistance for as many qualifying community members that we can, as quickly as possible!
***Active and retired US military may download the Spay/Neuter Application form HERE for more information and instructions.
***Pit Bull and Chihuahua owners may learn more about our FREE clinic requirements HERE.
South Lake Tahoe residents with questions can call Mariel at (530) 542-2857 or email Mariel@hstt.org (The fastest way to determine eligibility is to complete the online application!)