Monday - 06th of July 2015
Assistance Programs
Spay-Neuter Program



The program's purpose is to help low-income residents of Freeborn County who cannot otherwise afford to alter their pets.


Cats or large breed dogs (those that will weigh 50 lbs or more when fully grown) are the primary focus of the grant. Exceptions for dogs which do not fit the size criteria may be made on a limited basis if there are funds left after the surgeries of the pets who fit the criteria.


***An application and proof of financial need is required.*** 


If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact the spay/neuter program coordinator (Michelle) at 507-396-3659 and leave a message.  Please be patient as it may take a day or two to return your call.

Spay/Neuter application (pdf) Mail to: HSFC S/N Program, P.O. Box 423, Albert Lea, MN 56007.



    Photo: Puts into perspective what leaving your cat unspayed or neutered can do to the population!

Spay/Neuter Program Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible?
Humans: residents of Freeborn County over the age of 18 who are in financial need. Pets:
Owned cats or large breed dogs (those that will weigh 50 Ibs or more when fUlly grown) are the
primary focus of the grant. Stray/barn cats are altered by a separate program, the Unsocialized
Stray Cat Initiative.

Why do the dogs need to be large breed?
The requirements are made by the organization which gave us the funding. We must follow them
in order to be considered for more funding next year. We will not be taking any applications for
small or medium-size dogs this year, due to the length of the waiting list left over from last year.
Dogs WILL be weighed before any surgery, testing or vaccinations are done, and denied if they
do not meet the weight criteria. Adult dogs MUST weigh 50 Ibs or more. Puppies under 50 Ibs
will be accepted ONLY IF the vet agrees that they are Large-Breed and can be expected to weigh
over 50 Ibs at maturity.

How do I apply?
Request an application from the Humane Society --call 507-377-8501, email us at hs_oCfc, or send a letter to: HSFC SIN program, pobox 423, Albert Lea, MN 56007. You
can also call the voicemail of the Program Coordinator 507-396-3659. We will need your first and
last name and your mailing address. Please be sure to speak clearly or write legibly. Fill out
your application and mail it back to us with the required proof of financial need.

Why do you need proofs? Why those specific ones (tax return or household income statement
from a public program)?

We ask for proofs so that only people who are truly in need benefit from the program. Sadly, there
are lots of people out there who could easily afford to fix their pets, but don't want to spend the
money, and who see nothing wrong with taking that opportunity away from people who are less
fortunate. The organization which gave the Humane Society the funding for the program
requires us to use these forms of proof. These proofs list the entire household income from all

Is there a cost?
There is no cost to you for the spay/neuter surgery. If your pet is not current on vaccinations, and
your dog is not current on heartworm testing, you will need to pay a co-pay. Co-pays are as
follows: Rabies (dog or cat) $5, Distemper Combo (dog or cat) $10, Heartworm test (dog) $10.
So your total cost if your pet isn't current would be $15 per cat or $25 per dog. If you are
approved, the Program Coordinator will contact you with information on how to pay your co-pay.

How long will it take to find out if I'm approved?
There is only one person working on this, so it may take a few weeks before your application can
be reviewed. Please do not call to check on the status of your application unless it has been more
than 2 weeks since you mailed it. The Program Coordinator may need to contact you for further
information or clarification of your application. She will contact you when you are approved.

How long will the program run?
We will keep fixing pets until the funds run out. We expect funds to be used up quiCkly, since
there are so many in need now with the tough economy. Please don't wait to apply!

Who do I contact if I have more questions?
The Spay/Neuter Program Coordinator (Michelle) can be reached at her voicemaiI507-396-3659
or by emailingthe HumaneSociety at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please be patient, it may take a
few days to return your call or email.


Unsocialized Stray Cat Program

Cat1Unsocialized Stray Cats, you can see them if you know where to look. They are living outside in parks or in alleys, perhaps even in your neighborhood. They are cats who live outside without direct human contact. Some have been abandoned to fend for themselves; some of them were born outside. The longer they live on their own, away from human contact, the more unsocialized they become.

The Freeborn County Humane Society believes we can improve the lives of these cats and benefit the towns and communities they exist in through our Unsocialized Stray Cat Initiative Program by using the TNR method.


What is TNR?
Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) is becoming widely recognized as an effective and humane strategy for managing and reducing unsocialized and stray cat populations. TNR involves humanely trapping these cats and transporting them to a clinic setting where they are spayed or neutered and have their ear-tipped. They may also receive a health check, vaccinations, and may be treated for minor medical conditions. After surgery, the cat is returned back to his colony and habitat – typically where caring individuals have been providing food, water and typically a form of shelter. Since the cats are no longer reproducing, the colony will gradually diminish in size. By reducing or eliminating mating, fighting and wandering, TNR makes the colony more stable, impacts the influx of newcomers, and improves the health of the cats and their environment. Performed on a large scale, the successes of these programs can be felt at animal shelters and animal control facilities where fewer cats are admitted.


Ear-tipping is a technique of removing the top corner of the cat’s left ear. This is done while the cat is under anesthesia for its spay/neuter, so there is no pain. The “tipped” ear is the universal symbol that a cat has been through a spay/neuter program, vaccinated, and sterilized – and generally part of a managed unsocialized and stray cat colony. This makes it possible for caretakers to differentiate between cats that have already been sterilized and ones that have not been sterilized yet. Ear-tipping also ensures that a cat will not undergo unnecessary repeat surgery should it change its habitat.


Qualifying Cats
This program WILL accept:

  • Unsocialized stray cats
  • Barn cats
  • Stray cats


The Goal of this program is to sterilize as many cats as possible, eventually reducing the number of cats that must live as unowned strays. Diverting resources from this goal will result in fewer cats spayed and neutered, and more kittens born into this difficult life. Since FeLV is primarily spread from infected mother cats to their kittens, FIV passes mainly among fighting tom cats through bite wounds, spaying and neutering alone will decrease the spread of these infections. In 2010 we successfully spayed/neutered 135 cats, 79 were femaile and 56 were male.  As a result we prevented over 237 litters of kittens from being born.  Each female cat can have 3 litters per year, and the average litter size is 4 kittens.


Cost Involved
There is a small fee charged per cat depending on if it is a male or female.  We are willing to work out a payment plan if you have a large number of cats and find it hard to cover the costs upfront.

Unsocialized Stray Cat application (pdf) Mail to: HSFC Feral Cat Program, P.O. Box 423, Albert Lea, MN 56007.

Photo: <rescue>