Pre-Surgery Instructions

(En español)

C-SNIP runs efficiently in tight quarters. To ensure your visit is as smooth as possible, we ask that you carefully review the instructions below. You may want to print this page and carry it with you on the date of surgery.

COVID UPDATE: Upon arrival, please check in with the staff member stationed outside.  We ask that you abide by social distancing protocols (at least 6 feet of space between you and others) and we require that you wear a mask when interacting with C-SNIP staff.  When you check in with the C-SNIP staff member outside, they will place you on a digital waitlist that we will utilize to text you when it is your turn to come inside.  After being placed on the waitlist, you will be asked to return to your car to wait for your turn.  When you receive your text message instructing you to come in, please leave your pet(s) in your vehicle until instructed to bring in.

If you need to cancel this appointment, please call our office or reply to your confirmation email with at least 48 hours of notice. When clients "no show" (meaning do not cancel and do not show up) it takes away a spot another animal that might have had surgery that day. It's very important to let us know if you need to cancel. 

Important Reminder:

Vaccinations are the best protection from infectious diseases. Your pet will be in a facility housing up to 70 other animals on the day of surgery. If your pet is not up to date on vaccinations, it is at increased risk of contracting an infectious disease. By admitting your dog or cat to C-SNIP, you agree that you will not hold C-SNIP responsible in the unlikely event that your pet contracts an infectious disease or for the treatment of that disease.

Important Instructions and other Information:

IF YOUR ANIMAL IS 6 MONTHS OLD OR OLDER: No food, treats, or rawhides after midnight the night before surgery.  Water is always fine.

IF YOUR ANIMAL IS UNDER 6 MONTHS OLD: You do not need to restrict food or water.

To identify your pet as spayed or neutered, your pet will receive a green tattoo on his/her abdomen at the time of surgery. This is NOT OPTIONAL 

GRAND RAPIDS: If your last name begins with A-M, arrive between 8:00 am-8:15 am.  If your last name begins with N-Z, arrive between 8:30 am-8:45 am.

LAKESHORE: If you are dropping off a dog, arrive between 8:00 am-8:15 am.  If you are dropping off a cat, arrive between 8:30 am-8:45 am

Because check-in is a busy time and can be stressful for animals, pets must remain in vehicles while humans check them in. Please park (the parking lot is small and fills up very quickly, sometimes it may be better to park on the street) and check-in with the staff member outside and then be prepared to wait in your vehicle until it is your turn to come inside.

Cats MUST arrive in a secure carrier. For cats, please use disposable liners (ex. newspaper, potty pad, old towel, etc.) only for the carriers. The liner will be disposed of and replaced with a new disposable liner for the trip home. No exceptions. 

Dogs MUST arrive on a secure collar/harness and leash. We are UNABLE to keep a leash at the clinic at this time. Please ensure the pick-up person will have a leash. 

To limit the amount of contact required with C-SNIP staff on the day of your appointment, we ask that you pay ahead of time.  After you schedule your appointment, you will receive an email containing a link to prepay if you are able to do so.  If you are not able to pay online using this link, you can call us at 616-455-8220 option 1 to pre-pay with a credit/debit card over the phone.  We understand that not all of our clients will be able to pay ahead of time.  In that case, we ask that you bring a credit/debit card to pay on the day of your appointment.  If you are not able to use a credit/debit card on the day of your appointment, we ask that you bring cash in the exact amount. We do not accept Care Credit

Due to limited kennel space and thorough cleaning and medical protocols, the building does not have the capacity to board dogs or cats beyond the scheduled aftercare instructions and release times. Dog release is promptly at 4:00 pm on the day of surgery. Cat release is promptly at 7:30 am the following morning. Remain in your vehicle and a staff member will bring your pet out to you. If an owner or designated representative is not on time for aftercare instructions and retrieval of their pet, a $25 late fee may be assessed. If the owner or representative is more than 30 minutes late, C-SNIP reserves the right to turn the animal over to a local shelter as abandoned.


  • Your dog or cat shows any signs of illness within 7 days of surgery, including vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, or discharge from the nose or mouth.
  • Your appointment is for a female dog, and she goes into heat.

Thank you for being a hero to your dog or cat by choosing to spay/neuter! You are breaking the cycle of pet overpopulation in our West Michigan community.

​​​​​​It is safest for your animal and less messy for you if your pet's stomach is empty prior to surgery. Food in the stomach during surgery may be vomited up while the animal is under anesthesia. An unconscious animal can breathe this material into its lungs, causing a potentially fatal pneumonia. Also, improperly fasted animals have a much higher likelihood of vomiting after you get them home.

Pain medication is administered by the veterinarian at the clinic immediately following surgery and will last for the next 24 hours. Rarely do pets need additional pain medication. On occasion, C-SNIP will send additional pain medication home with your pet after spending the day with them. Additionally, you may request additional pain medication at any time throughout your pets recovery process.

​​​​​​Due to space constraints, we have a limited number of kennels for large dogs to recover in. It is important for you to provide an accurate weight so we can schedule your dog on a day when we have a space adequate in size for recovery.

We want to make sure your pet has a successful surgery. In the two week waiting period, you will have time to ensure your pet is healthy and that the new adoption works for you. Additionally, you will better know your pet’s typical behavior so you can monitor their recovery after surgery.

​​​​​​Microchipping offers pet owners the only truly permanent method of identifying your pet and linking the animal back to you, the owner. If you want to improve your pet’s chances of getting home in a lost pet emergency – microchipping is your best option. Animal microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are typically implanted beneath the skin between the shoulder blades. You will need to register the microchip online with your contact information and keep it updated.