MCAS Updates Veterinary Partners for Spay & Neuter and Rabies Vaccination

Some adopters receive vouchers to complete spay or neuter surgery and / or rabies vaccination through community veterinary partners.

MCAS welcomes Oregon Humane Society, Mt. Scott Animal Clinic, NVA St Francis 24 Hour Animal Hospital, and Gresham Animal Hospital to our available veterinary providers for these services, and has updated scheduling details for providers.

Update for Adopters with Vouchers

Vouchers are provided at the time of adoption for spay/neuter surgery and/or rabies vaccination if these services have not been completed at the shelter prior to adoption. 

Before in-person adoptions began on January 4, 2023, these vouchers were mailed for affected adopters from June - December 2022. Several veterinary clinics were added as providers after many adopters received their vouchers.

MCAS wants to inform adopters about additional options and providers for these services, and provide support to facilitate redemption. Oregon Humane Society will also be proactively reaching out to adopters to schedule these services if needed.

Adopters with vouchers may redeem them for select veterinary services at a participating clinic. Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) will cover the cost of services listed on the voucher. Adopters may be responsible for payment of other services performed at the clinic.

  • Adopters may call their chosen veterinary clinic, and schedule an appointment for veterinary services identified on vouchers.
  • Adopters should bring the voucher and any veterinary records to appointments.

What if I lost or didn’t receive a voucher?

If you need a replacement voucher for your adopted pet, please email or call 503-988-7387.

MCAS sent reminder e-mails to adopters who were issued vouchers with updated redemption options and instructions. MCAS is also reissuing vouchers as needed, and sending updated instructions via mail if adopter e-mails are unavailable.

Participating Clinics and Scheduling Details

Oregon Humane Society - Spay & Save

  • (503) 285-7722 ext. 437
  • 1067 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland, OR
  • A deposit is not currently required
  • Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Call or email for scheduling. A message will say that they are only scheduling surgeries for cats- please indicate you are calling with an MCAS voucher for dogs or cats.

Gresham Animal Hospital

  • 503-666-1600
  •  520 NW Division St, Gresham, OR
  • $150 deposit for scheduling – refunded at checkout.
    • 72 hr. cancellation notice is required to avoid deposit forfeiture.
  • ∼2 week scheduling wait.

NVA St Francis 24 Hour Animal Hospital

Mt. Scott Animal Clinic

  • 503-777-3919
  • 8401 SE Ellis St, Portland, OR
  • $75 exam deposit – can be used for vet services and is not refundable. If not used will be held as a credit on the account.
  • 24 hr. cancellation notice required to avoid deposit forfeiture.
  • Please call instead of scheduling at the clinic.
  • Pre-op appointment required prior to surgery date.
  • ∼2 week scheduling wait for dogs. Shorter wait time for cats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Other Veterinary Clinics Participate?

Only contracted veterinary providers listed above will honor vouchers, and MCAS is not able to cover the cost of these services at other veterinary clinics.

MCAS welcomes the support of other veterinary providers who are willing to participate, and would like to contract with Multnomah County. Interested clinics may call 503-988-7387 or e-mail to begin the process.

Why isn’t MCAS able to spay or neuter and provide rabies vaccination to all animals prior to adoption?

MCAS has staff position vacancies for a full-time veterinarian, and two certified veterinary technicians. MCAS is also recruiting for relief or on-call veterinary positions. 

A nationwide staffing shortage for veterinary professionals has impacted and prolonged recruitment efforts, and MCAS has not yet been able to fill these open positions.

These critical vacancies impact our capacity to provide spay & neuter surgeries for all animals, as well as our internal capacity for veterinary care. Additionally, a veterinarian is required by Oregon State law to be present for all rabies vaccinations, or to supervise CVTs administering the vaccine.

Our decision to offer these services post-adoption through other veterinary providers was not made lightly, and is not an agency preference, but made out of necessity in order to place animals in homes as soon as possible, and remove a significant bottle-neck and surgery backlog that our veterinary staff did not have the capacity to clear alone.

Increased length-of-stay impacts animal health, behavior, and shelter capacity

Prior to creating the voucher process, MCAS consulted with a Multnomah County Attorney for legal considerations; Dr Sandra Newbury at the University of Wisconsin as a shelter standards and operations expert; and other colleagues in the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP) as community partners managing the pet population. All agreed, while not ideal, it was a plan that made sense to try in order to reduce length-of-stay and move pets out of the shelter and into their new homes.

How will MCAS continue to address the issue of animals that aren’t spayed or neutered before adoption?

Veterinary Staff Compensation & Recruitment

Multnomah County is in the process of reviewing benefits and/or signing bonuses for the positions, and AFSCME Local 88 is considering market adjustments to compensation for Certified Veterinary Technicians. The Multnomah County Department of Community Services has also increased advertising for long-term vacancies.

Following Up with Adopters

MCAS shares concerns about spaying and neutering animals and its impact on the community animal population, and will continue to follow up with adopters to help facilitate voucher redemptions. Spaying and neutering animals is also a requirement for adoption according to the Multnomah County ordinance.

Completing Spay / Neuter Surgery at Veterinary Providers Before Adoption

Now that more providers are available, MCAS may arrange for shelter animals to be spayed or neutered at our contracted veterinary providers prior to adoption when possible. This option is dependent on provider capacity to accommodate a significant number of surgeries at one time, and would be coordinated by shelter staff with support from transport volunteers. In instances where in-house capacity to provide spay / neuter surgery is limited, this process would be preferred over the voucher system because it eliminates the need for an adopter to arrange these services.

Resuming In-House Surgeries for All Animals

MCAS intends to resume pre-adoption spay/neuter surgery for all animals as soon as our veterinary capacity allows

The pilot program established to contract with other veterinary providers may continue in order to provide urgent or supplementary services in the future. MCAS is working with the projected long-term veterinary shortage in mind, and our veterinary partnerships may be developed and leveraged in order to meet the veterinary needs of shelter animals.

Why were vouchers delayed in 2022?

Beginning in summer 2022, due to reduced veterinary staff availability, some animals were placed into foster-to-adopt arrangements until the animals could be scheduled for spay/neuter surgery. However, it became increasingly clear over time that MCAS would not have the immediate capacity to clear this backlog of surgeries and also meet the need to provide surgery for ongoing adoptions. In response, pending adoptions were finalized, and Multnomah County began a procurement process for contracted veterinary clinics to provide these outstanding surgeries.

As a public agency, Multnomah County has a set procurement process and requirements. CHAPTER 279A, B AND C of the State of Oregon Statutes governs all public purchasing in the state. Multnomah County Public Contract Review Board (PCRB) Administrative Rules (ARs) and county Administrative Procedures (APs) guide specific County purchases and exemptions.  These laws and rules are to assure that business conducted with vendors is fair, ethical and competitive. However, this process may take a significant amount of time to complete.

After a necessary bidding process soliciting regional veterinary clinics and screening interest and capacity to participate, it took several months to complete contracting with one veterinary provider, and additional providers were finalized later. 

Vouchers were mailed to adopters still in need of surgery, but staggered by order of urgency and adoption date so that veterinary providers would not be overwhelmed with the demand of adopters trying to schedule surgeries all at once. This is a reflection of the immense challenges in getting services scheduled through the vendor and the decrease in staffing — across the country — in veterinarian care.

Shelter Care