MN SNAP offers vaccinations, micro-chipping and limited basic treatments to surgery patients only.

The following vaccinations are offered by MN SNAP at the following costs:

Rabies vaccination for pets over three months old … $10
PRC (panleukopenia/rhinotracheitis/Calicivirus combo) for cats … $10
DHPP (distemper/hepatitis/parainfluenza/parvovirus combo) for dogs … $10
There is a $5 fee for a replacement vaccination certificate/tag.

MN SNAP can microchip your pet, which includes implanting and registering a microchip, for a cost of $20.

MN SNAP also offers additional basic treatments as follows:

Advantage Multi (or equivalent) topical flea and ear mite treatment for cats/kittens … $12
Injectable tapeworm medication for dogs and cats … $12
Antibiotics when indicated … $12-20
Ear infection medication when indicated … $12-20

MN SNAP’s surgical fees, vaccinations and other services are highly subsidized through fundraising. This means that all of our equipment and supplies are paid for by fundraising rather than by collecting fees. Most veterinary clinics must recover their costs of operation by charging adequately. Your vet’s office may also perform tests and have equipment that MN SNAP does not, and they must charge for these as well.

MN SNAP subsidized its first surgery April 20, 2010.

There are many good reasons to spay and neuter, and we think the best reason is to reduce pet overpopulation.

Other benefits include the prevention and treatment of some undesirable behaviors, especially in males, such as urine spraying and marking, some types of aggression, humping and roaming. The major health benefits for female pets are the prevention mammary tumors, life-threatening pyometra (infected uterus) and uterine cancer in rabbits.

A benefit to you might be no more messy heat cycles in dogs and no more yowling from your female cat. Male pets benefit from the prevention of testicular cancer and prostatitis.

A few statistics:

  • In dogs, mammary gland tumors are the most common of all tumors found, affecting 3.4 percent of females. In cats, they are the third most common tumor, affecting 2.5 percent of females.
  • Fifty-one percent of mammary gland tumors in dogs are malignant and more than 90 percent are malignant in cats.
  • The average age at diagnosis for mammary gland tumors in dogs is 10 years old, although our vets are seeing it in younger dogs.
  • Sexually intact dogs and cats have seven times the risk of developing mammary gland cancer when they get older, compared to the risk of spayed dogs and cats.
  • Compared to intact dogs, dogs spayed before their first heat have a 0.5 percent risk of mammary gland cancer; after one heat, a 8 percent risk; and after two heats, a 26 percent risk.
  • Pyometra is infection of the uterus. The incidence has been reported as approximately 15 percent in 4-year-old dogs and 23-24 percent in 10-year-old dogs. Reported death rates are 0-17 percent in dogs and 8 percent in cats. Spay is curative.
  • Our veterinarians see dogs and cats with pyometra almost every month.
  • Spaying and neutering prevents and treats prostatitis (an enlarged and possibly infected prostate gland in dogs). Prostatitis can cause difficultly defecating and urinating, and can cause blood in the urine.
  • In one study, 63.4 percent of 300 sexually intact dogs had an enlarged prostate gland.
    By 2.4 years old, 50 percent of intact dogs will have an enlarged prostate gland; by 6 years old, 75-80 percent; and by 9 years old, 95-100 percent.
  • In female rabbits, uterine adenocarcinoma can spread rapidly to other organs of the body such as the liver, lungs and even the skin, and it’s not treatable once it metastasizes outside of the uterus.
  • Rabbits under two years of age rarely develop uterine adenocarcinoma, so it’s best to get your female spayed before this age.

Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.

Your neutered male will be much better behaved. Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, intact dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.

Spaying or neutering won’t make your pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds — not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.

Spaying and neutering highly cost-effective. The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your intact tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray.

Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community. Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.

Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth. Allowing your pet to produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children, especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are many books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a responsible way.

Proof of Minnesota residency (photo ID card, driver’s license)
Proof of financial need
Any medications your pet is being given. Please bring labels.
Cash to pay for your services. Be sure to have extra cash in the event your pet has additional needs that are not anticipated at check-in.

Bring your pet in a suitable carrier or crate. Only one feral cat per container will be accepted. We won’t accept containers containing multiple feral cats. If you don’t have a carrier or crate, it’s your responsibility to alert our staff at least 24 hours in advance so we can bring a loaner container for your pet.

Be ready to provide a valid phone number at which you can be reached throughout the day. If you don’t have a phone, you must arrange a pick-up time with our technician at the time of drop off and a contact person so that we can reach you as necessary.

BE ON TIME FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT. CHECK-IN BEGINS PROMPTLY AT THE TIME YOUR PET IS SCHEDULED.

You must complete the appropriate paperwork and pay the fees before you leave your pet for surgery.

We may need you to arrange a pick-up time for your pet ahead of time. Please remember, we can’t accurately predict when your pet will fully wake up, so you may be asked to wait once you arrive. Your patience and understanding are appreciated! We also may need to contact you during the day; so you’ll need to provide us with contact information of a person through whom we can reach you.
MN SNAP performs what is called “High Volume High Quality Spay Neuter,” or HVHQSN. This means we have highly trained doctors and technicians who perform anesthesia and surgery in an extremely time efficient and safe manner. In this way, we can complete as many as 30-40 surgeries per day per team.
Please contact our Office Manager at office@mnsnap.org to arrange this.

See our page with low-cost veterinary resources.

Your pet will be cared for by a team of highly skilled and compassionate veterinarians and technicians. Our Minnesota licensed veterinarians have more than 35 years of combined experience and our technicians have more than 50 years of combined experience. They care for your pet as if it is their own.

Your pet must be healthy.

Dogs and cats should be at least eight weeks old. Kittens must weigh at least two pounds. All rabbits must be six months or older.

We may operate on senior animals depending upon their physical exam and health history.

Feeding your pet the morning of surgery is okay. Don’t take away food and water from a puppy, kitten or rabbit before surgery.

We ask you to wait two weeks (14 days) before bathing your pet or allowing your pet to swim fully submerged. Foot baths or spot cleaning of soiled fur is allowed using a warm clean wash cloth, as long as the incision area remains dry.

Depending on the size, gender and species (dog or cat or rabbit), the actual surgery may take from five minutes to one hour. It’s the recovery afterwards that takes the longest. Most cats sleep one to one-and-a-half hours after surgery and most dogs sleep two to three hours or more. We monitor vital signs closely during this time and will only send a pet home once it can walk and we are sure it’s able to continue to recover normally at home.

Our veterinarians perform between 30 and 40 sterilizations per day.

Animals show pain or mask it in different ways. If a leg hurts, for instance, it may limp or just refuse to walk or run. For spay and neuter recovery, here are some common signs of pain to look for in your pet:

DOGS

Male dogs may excessively lick at their incision, start to walk, but then suddenly sit down and/or cry out. Female dogs may refuse to stand or walk, may whimper or walk with a hunched up back, may cry when straining to go potty, or may flinch or cry out when touched even slightly on the abdomen. Call the veterinarian who performed your pet’s surgery if this happens, and she will likely prescribe additional medication.

Many dogs will be “whiny” for 12 hours or so after anesthesia. This may not be pain related but may be a condition called “dysphoria,” which is a fancy way of saying they feel weird and disoriented. This can be hard to differentiate from pain. If your dog is whining but quiets down or wags its tail when you speak to it, does not wince or tense up when touched, and seems to enjoy being petted, it is likely dysphoric. This will resolve on its own, and you can help your pet along by keeping it warm and cozy. Some dogs like to be cuddled into a blanket by your side until it passes.

CATS

Cats of both sexes typically are more stoic than dogs when it comes to pain. A cat in pain may sit hunched up but remain quiet. It may hold its head down, its body will be tense, and it may growl softly. The pupils may be dilated, though this is common after anesthesia. A reluctance to move or eat are also potential signs of pain. If your cat seems to be in pain more than 24 hours after surgery, please contact the veterinarian who performed surgery on your cat.

Dysphoria is also common in cats. Cats that are dysphoric may yowl or cry, growl loudly or hiss, or may act drunk or very wobbly. Kittens can actually act aggressive. Dysphoria usually resolves on its own as well, but remember, your cat doesn’t want to be cuddled when it’s dysphoric! Instead, provide a very quiet and comfy resting place, with a blanket or towel for it to hide under. Cats like to hide, and this is the best thing to let them do until they feel normal again.

While it may be convenient for transport to the clinic, it’s best for each animal to have their own kennel. This is most important after surgery, as the animals are still processing the anesthetic and can act out toward each other, especially in small confined spaces such as a kennel. Even animals who are buddies can act out of sorts while processing and recovering from anesthesia. For feral cats, this is especially important. We require that animals are in their own kennel.

Try to be sure that your pet has “gone potty” prior to bringing your pet in for surgery. Be sure to take your dog for a walk or let it out to eliminate immediately prior to surgery. If you can’t be certain of whether your pet has done so – don’t worry – your pet can still have surgery.

Please place a towel or blanket in your pet’s carrier so that your pet will be more comfortable during recovery after surgery and when you pick it up.

Please have all paperwork filled out and signed, have your Minnesota ID, proof of qualification and payment ready at the time of check-in. (All fees are to be paid in full at check-in, CASH ONLY).

The risks involved with anesthesia of an older pet will vary depending on its health and weight. Our typical anesthetic protocol relies on a pet’s heart, lungs, liver and kidneys to be fully functional in order to properly and safely break down and eliminate the anesthetic drugs. With advanced age, there is an increased chance your pet may not have normal functioning organ systems. This can all affect how stable a patient will be while under anesthesia, as well as how quickly it will recover after the surgery. We encourage owners of older pets with KNOWN health problems involving their heart, lungs, liver or kidneys to take them to a private practice veterinarian for diagnostics, anesthesia, and surgery. This is because a full service hospital will be able to provide more support for the individual patient than we can offer. Overweight dogs also have an increased risk of complications from anesthesia and surgery. Excessive body fat greatly increases the degree of difficulty of surgery in females, and recovery can be prolonged. Our veterinarian may decline to operate on your pet if she believes that it is unhealthy or likely to suffer serious consequences from anesthesia or surgery. We encourage you to speak with one of our veterinarians if you have any concerns or questions regarding anesthesia and surgery for your older or overweight pet.

Rest and relaxation! We ask you to keep your pet indoors, clean and dry for at least 7 days. Daily monitoring of the incision and your pet’s attitude is required. Keeping your pet confined or restricting activity as much as possible afterwards will greatly reduce the chance of a complication arising. In the case of feral cats, we reduce the restricted activity to overnight (see FERAL CATS section for more information).

Our anesthetic protocol was designed based on consultation with experts in this field, and each patient receives customized anesthesia based on its species, age, health and gender. Each patient is sedated with a combination of injectable drugs. This phase of anesthesia lasts a short time, so to place the patient under general anesthesia so that it is completely asleep, we place a breathing tube into the trachea and a mixture of oxygen and a gas anesthetic is administered. Each patient gets an injection of hydromorphone for pain before surgery, and receives anti-inflammatory and pain medication after surgery. Additional pain medications may be prescribed for an individual patient depending upon the difficulty of surgery, its age or degree of pain the patient shows after surgery. Administration of anesthesia and pain medication prescriptions are overseen by a licensed veterinarian, and no additional costs are charged if a patient requires additional go-home pain medication.

Because of differences in the length of surgery and recovery time based on species, age and gender, we cannot predict exactly when a pet can go home. Your pet will go home in the afternoon or evening on the same day as surgery.

A MN SNAP staff member will call you with an estimated time your pet will be ready to go home. We ask that you are available throughout the day so that you can pick up your animal in a timely manner. If you have other obligations (work, school, meetings, etc.), please discuss these with our staff at check-in so that we can try to accommodate your needs. It may be necessary to reschedule the appointment if an arrangement can’t be made.

A barn cat is a cat that lives 100 percent in your barn. It may be tame, even friendly, but it’s not an indoor housecat. It usually has the job of keeping rodents out of your feed for horses, cows or other livestock. It differs slightly from a feral cat but mainly only in temperament. We offer our services to caretakers of barn cats regardless of financial need.

Outdoor (feral) cats have existed alongside humans for 10,000 years. They aren’t a new phenomenon. Feral cats are members of the same species as pet cats — and are therefore protected under state animal anti-cruelty laws. Feral cats are not socialized to people and survive on their own outdoors. They live and thrive in every landscape, from the inner city to rural farmland. Since feral cats are not adoptable, they should not be brought to animal pounds and shelters, because there they will likely be killed.

A feral cat is a cat that has either never had any contact with people, or its contact with people has diminished over time. Most feral cats are not likely to ever become lap cats or enjoy living indoors. For our purposes, a feral cat is a cat you can’t pick up and touch, much less cuddle. It isn’t a pet and will likely never be one due to its wild nature. It’s typically a non-social animal that may pass through your property and eat your food but will scatter when approached. Feral cats are at risk for diseases, trauma and unwanted pregnancies.

A truly feral cat is one that can’t be easily picked up and examined for spay scars or the presence of testicles. The ear-tip is a benign and easy way to identify a feral cat that has been sterilized and rabies vaccinated from a safe distance. We also ear-tip barn cats, for the same reason, though we realize many may be tamer than a truly feral cat. We want to make it easy for the caretaker to identify their sterile cats from a possible new-comer that may need to be sterilized.

Spaying and neutering feral and barn cats helps keep them safe, healthy and decreases the number of unwanted feral kittens born each year. Shelters are overwhelmed by unwanted litters of kittens born to feral or barn cats. Studies show that three out of four feral kittens will die before they reach six months old. We prefer to reduce the number of these kittens conceived and born to reduce their suffering. Spaying and neutering feral cats and barn cats also reduces the risk of transmission of disease between a feral cat and your indoor/outdoor pet cat.

Yes, you can! MN SNAP has a wish list. The items we use and need most are listed on this page, and we appreciate any in-kind donations we receive.

Yes, MN SNAP has a few different options for recurring donations.

You may send a check to MN SNAP’s office at 10000 Highway 55, Fourth Floor, Plymouth, MN 55441.
You may contact MN SNAP to set up a recurring debit to your checking account or a recurring credit card donation at info@mnsnap.org.
You may go to MN SNAP’s GiveMN page and set up a recurring donation.

Yes, it costs more to donate by credit card. MN SNAP must pay the fees that a typical business would pay to accept and process credit card transactions.

To provide an idea of the fees involved with online donations:

GiveMN site: MN SNAP pays 4.9 percent of the transaction in fees to GiveMN.
Through MN SNAP’s processors:
VISA/MC/Discover transaction fees range from 2-3.5 percent depending on the type of card (i.e. miles or rewards cards are higher in fees) and the volume of transaction plus a per transaction fee.
American Express transaction fees are more than 4 percent of the transaction plus a per transaction fee and are higher depending on the type of card.
The least expensive online transaction is a checking/savings account debit. These transactions are $0.50 per transaction regardless of the transaction volume.

You may donate items to MN SNAP by sending an email to office@mnsnap.org to inform us of what items you wish to donate. We can then establish the best place to drop off your donation. Typically for donations that are not large or heavy, we are able to accept donations at any mobile clinic or at our Minneapolis Animal Care and Control location in Minneapolis. Working with our staff will ensure the best plan for a smooth transition of the items you wish to donate. Thank you!

Click on the volunteer registration form, complete and submit the form. A MN SNAP representative will contact you within two weeks with follow up and next steps.

Yes, we have different training protocol depending on the type of volunteer position. Clinic volunteers are thoroughly trained by MN SNAP volunteer or a veterinary staff member.