Are All Shelter Dogs NEUTERED?

Are all shelter dogs neutered? This is a question that many potential dog adopters may have.

Many state laws require that animal shelters spay and neuter adoptable animals, however, some shelters do not neuter their dogs, which can lead to problems down the road.

Keep reading to find out more!

Are All Shelter Dogs Neutered?

Not all shelter dogs are neutered.
While not every dog is spayed or neutered, there are laws in many states that require the procedure before an animal is adopted.

No. Not all shelter dogs are neutered, but the vast majority of them are.

Depending on the shelter, kittens and puppies are neutered before going to their forever home.

Also, some shelters perform a neuter if requested before bringing your new pup home.

Benefits of Neutering

Neutering dogs has several benefits, both for the animal and the owner.

  • Neutered dogs are less likely to roam, reducing their risk of being hit by a car or getting into fights with other animals.
  • It reduces the risk of certain types of cancer.
  • It decreases problem behaviors such as aggression and marking territory.

Most importantly, it prevents unwanted litters that may also end up in shelters.

Read More: Can Shelter Dogs Be Service Dogs? Discover the benefits of adopting for service work.

If You Can’t Afford to Have Your Dog Neutered

Local shelters may neuter dogs for less money than a vet.
Your local shelter may be able to neuter your dog at a reduced cost.

The surgery can cost anywhere from $50 to $500.

If you can’t afford to have your dog neutered, there are a few things you can do.

Check With Local Shelters

Many of them require that all dogs be spayed or neutered before being adopted out, so they may be able to help you with the cost.

Low-Cost Vet Clinics

These clinics typically offer discounts for those unable to pay the total price.

Vet Financing

Consider asking your veterinarian if they offer financing options or payment plans.

Taking advantage of one of these options ensures your dog gets the necessary surgery without breaking the bank.

Watch this video from SPCA Wake’s Spay/Neuter Clinic:

Read our related article, Do Animal Shelters Give Free Shots? for more services that might be offered by your local shelter.

Alternatives to Spaying and Neutering

Several alternatives to traditional spaying and neutering procedures are now available for dogs.

Partial Sterilization

One option is “partial” or “limited” sterilization, which involves removing only the reproductive organs.

This method is less invasive than complete sterilization and typically has a shorter recovery time.

Chemical Sterilization

Another option is “chemical” sterilization, which involves the injection of a safe, long-lasting contraceptive into the dog’s body.

This method is non-invasive and does not require surgical recovery time.

Behavioral Sterilization

Finally, there is the option of “behavioral” sterilization, which involves training the dog to refrain from breeding behaviors.

This method is effective but requires a significant commitment from the owner.

While all of these alternatives have benefits, it is essential to discuss them with a veterinarian before making a decision.


In conclusion, all shelter dogs are not necessarily neutered. However, the vast majority of them are.

This is done to control the population and minimize the number of homeless animals.

If you are interested in adopting a dog from a shelter, ask about their spay and neuter policy.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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