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The Humane Society of Wilkes has a spay/neuter assistance program to help residents of Wilkes County! We can issue a “voucher” to eligible Wilkes County residents for a reduced-cost spay or neuter of your pet(s) at two local veterinary hospitals. Vouchers are available for those who are eligible on the first Friday of each month for both cats and dogs that will be 6 months or older at the time of surgery.

Spay/neuter vouchers cost $50 for dogs and $35 for cats for those who qualify for Medicaid or whose annual household income is at or under $25,000/year. Animal Ark of Elkin and Wilkes Veterinary Hospital will accept the HSOW voucher in place of their usual charge for spay or neuter surgery.* Wilkes Veterinary Hospital requires that you first make an appointment for and attend a wellness exam for your pet ($45), then schedule the surgery appointment at the wellness exam, then get the voucher. Animal Ark-Elkin prefers that you get your voucher before you make your appointment. Please tell the vet's office that you plan to use a SNAP voucher when you make your appointments. Vouchers should be obtained no more than 45 business days before the surgery appointment. 

Participating Veterinarians for SNAP Vouchers

Animal Ark - Elkin
188 Claremont Dr
Elkin, NC 28621

Wilkes Veterinary Hospital
1007 2nd Street
North Wilkesboro, NC 2865

*Riverview Animal Hospital will accept the voucher as a coupon to reduce costs for their current clients but additional charges may apply.
If you are already a client at Riverview, and you qualify for a SNAP voucher, contact their office for details: (336)667-2463.


  • Participants must be Wilkes County residents.
  • To qualify, the pet owner’s income must be under $25,000 a year and/or the owner of the pet must show a valid Medicaid card.

SNAP Registration Events:

SNAP registration is on the first Friday of each month from 11 AM until 12:30 PM. Check the events calendar for dates.

To qualify for vouchers:

  1. You must be a Wilkes County resident.

  2. You must have made an appointment for your pet(s) if you use Wilkes Veterinary Hosp. or Riverview Animal Hosp.

  3. You must bring proof of income in the form of a Medicaid card or a copy of your last tax return with a valid ID (Driver’s License or ID Card).

  4. We can accept only cash or checks.

  5. You may purchase two vouchers per person per registration event, toward a limit of six cats and two dogs per year.

Pets must have a current rabies vaccine or receive a rabies vaccine at the time of surgery for additional cost. There are some other conditions that may result in a higher cost for surgery, including a female in heat or pregnant or a male with cryptorchidism (undescended testicles).

Residents requesting SNAP vouchers for feral cats will not be held to income requirements, but will have to pay about $25 for a rabies vaccine and ear tipping, in addition to the cost of the voucher, per cat.

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Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Spayed animals no longer feel the need to roam to look for a mate. The result is that they stay home and have less chance of being involved in traumatic accidents such as being hit by a car. They also have a much lower incidence of contracting contagious diseases, and get into fewer fights.

In males, neutering decreases the chances of developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer. It also reduces problems with territorial and sexual aggression, inappropriate urination, and other undesirable male behaviors.

In females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer (the rate goes down to almost zero if the spaying is done before the first heat cycle). It eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus experienced by many unspayed females. Spaying also eliminates the heat cycle and associated undesirable behaviors, and the attraction of all available males to your yard.

The simple fact is that spaying and neutering greatly increases the lifespan of your pet and increases quality of life as well.

An unspayed female cat, her mate and all of their offspring, producing 2 litters per year, with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter can total:

1 year : 12
2 years: 67
3 years: 376
4 years: 2,107
6 years: 66,088
8 years: 2,072,514

An unspayed female dog, her mate and all of their puppies, if none are ever neutered or spayed, add up to:

1 year : 16
2 years: 128
3 years: 512
4 years: 2,048
5 years: 12,288
6 years: 67,000

Source: ASPCA

Six Common Excuses for Not Spaying or Neutering Pets

1. My pet will get fat and lazy.

Neutering or spaying may diminish your pet's overall activity level by reducing his or her natural tendency to wander. Pets that become fat and lazy after being altered usually are overfed and do not get enough exercise.

2. We want another pet just like Rover and Fluffy.

Even breeding purebred animals rarely results in offspring that are exactly like one of the parents. With mixed breeds, it is virtually impossible to have offspring that are exactly like one of the parents.

3. My pet's personality will change.

Any change will be for the better. After being altered, your pet will be less aggressive toward other dogs and cats, have a better personality, and will be less likely to wander. Spraying, which is often done by dogs and cats to mark their territory, diminishes after pets are altered.

4. We can sell the puppies or kittens and make money.

Breeders are fortunate if they break even on the raising purebred litters. The cost of raising a litter, which includes vaccinations, other health care costs, and feeding a quality food, consumes most of the "profit".

5. My children should witness our pet giving birth.

Pets often have their litters in the middle of the night or in a place of their own choosing. Because pets need privacy when giving birth, any unnecessary intrusion can cause the mother to become seriously upset, and may result in her not caring for the offspring.

6. I am worried about my pet undergoing anesthesia.

This is a very common concern of owners. Although there is always a slight risk involved, anesthetics currently used by veterinarians are very safe. The medical benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anesthesia. Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about this aspect of the surgery.

Source: Brown University, Canine Behavior Program