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Greater Sudbury

Responsible Pet Owners Always Spay or Neuter Their Cats

The City of Greater Sudbury and the Sudbury and District Veterinary Association offer a program to help reduce the number of unwanted cats in the community. The program provides low-income residents with unlimited access to reduced rates for the spaying and neutering of domestic cats.

Eligible residents will pay $100 to neuter or $125 to spay a domestic cat at a participating animal hospital, not including applicable tax. To qualify, residents must pass a needs test administered by Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement.

How does the program work?

The spay-neuter subsidy for cats is available to Greater Sudbury residents who:

  • Provide proof that their cat(s) is/are licensed with the City of Greater Sudbury (pet tag)
  • Provide proof that they meet the requirements of the qualifying means test (receipt of income assistance or SafePet program) and
  • Provide proof of personal identity

Individuals who meet these requirements are issued a veterinary coupon for presentation to participating veterinarians in the City of Greater Sudbury. Veterinarians will collect a fee of $125 to spay a female cat or $100 to neuter a male cat directly from the individual upon presentation of the coupon, not including applicable tax.

Qualifying residents may obtain subsidies to spay-neuter any number of cats registered in their name.

For more information, residents may dial 3-1-1. Residents may also visit City of Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement on the main floor of Tom Davies Square, 200 Brady Street, Sudbury, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. To process their application, residents are asked to provide proof of cat registration, proof of personal identity and proof for the means test.

What is the means test?

To qualify for the spay-neuter subsidy, City of Greater Sudbury residents must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Receipt of the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • Receipt of the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit
  • Receipt of the Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Receipt of financial assistance through Ontario Works, and/or
  • Receipt of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association’s SafePet Program

Who administers the means test?

Designated municipal staff with the City of Greater Sudbury’s By-law Compliance and Enforcement will administer the means test and distribute veterinary coupons. Confidentiality of applicants will be safeguarded under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

What is the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)?

The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides a monthly, non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada.

Eligibility of recipients is reviewed every year. Recipients receive an annual letter confirming eligibility status.

Greater Sudbury residents applying for the spay-neuter subsidy must supply a copy of their most recent letter confirming receipt of GIS to designated staff of Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement.

What is the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit?

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefit is a taxable monthly payment that is available to people who have contributed to the CPP and who are not able to work regularly at any job because of a disability.

Eligibility of recipients is reviewed every year. Recipients receive an annual letter confirming eligibility status.

Greater Sudbury residents applying for the spay-neuter subsidy must supply a copy of their most recent letter confirming receipt of the CPP Disability Benefit to designated staff of Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement.

What is the Ontario Disability Support Program?

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) helps people who are in financial need pay for living expenses, like food and housing. The ODSP is managed and delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Greater Sudbury residents applying for the spay-neuter subsidy must supply a copy of their most recent ODSP cheque stub, or their Benefit Unit Summary, to designated staff of Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement.

What is Ontario Works?

Ontario Works (OW) helps those in temporary financial need with money and assistance finding a job. OW is managed and delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services and is administered by the City of Greater Sudbury.

Greater Sudbury residents applying for the spay-neuter subsidy must supply a copy of their most recent OW Drug Card or OW cheque stub to designated staff of Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement.

What is the SafePet Program?

The SafePet Program is a cooperative partnership administered by Ontario’s Violence Against Women Shelters. SafePet is designed to assist women in leaving abusive partners by providing temporary housing and care for their pets. Volunteer veterinarians from Greater Sudbury provide a neutral location where the pet owner can drop off their pet before staying in a shelter and where pet foster parents can pick up the animal for temporary care.

Greater Sudbury residents applying for the spay-neuter subsidy must supply designated staff of Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement with a copy of a letter from a Violence Against Women Shelter indicating that their pet is registered with the SafePet program.

Does the new program provide a subsidy for the spaying or neutering of dogs?

The new spay-neuter program applies only to cats. According to a study initiated by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, over 80 per cent of dogs entering municipal pound facilities are reunited with their owners or are adopted into new homes. In cats, redemption and adoption figures are less than 50 per cent. The goal of the new spay-neuter program is to decrease the number of unwanted litters by offering subsidies to cat owners who would otherwise be unable to afford the spay or neuter procedure.

I can’t afford to spay or neuter my dog. Isn’t it unfair to exclude my pet from the subsidy?

The City of Greater Sudbury Animal Control By-law requires pet owners to keep their dogs and cats leashed and under control when venturing off their own property. Female dogs in heat should be closely monitored whenever they are outdoors. On average, dogs have two cycles a year. Cats most often go into heat in the spring and fall for an average of one week. If a non-spayed female cat is not mated, she may go back into heat within several days. The frequency of the feline heat cycle, and the challenges associated with confining a cat, make it far more likely that cat will produce an unwanted litter than a dog.

Will foster parents of unwanted cats be able to access the subsidy?

Registered pet foster organizations have access to subsidized spay-neuter clinics through the Ontario SPCA Sudbury and District Animal Centre. Please call for details: 705-566-9582.