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Peninsula Humane Society’s Veterinarian is Going Nuts!

Performs 60,000th spay/neuter surgery.

If you need a new hip, knee or Lasik surgery, you want a doc who’s done this many times. Heck, if you want a mani, pedi or haircut, experience counts. So, if you need to “fix” your dog or cat, look no further than Dr. Steve Sweetser, the primary veterinarian for our low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinic. We tallied up the spay/neuter surgeries he’s performed since joining the Peninsula Humane Society; he’s at 60,000 and counting! And, no, we don’t count neuter surgeries by “twos.”

Dr. Sweetser joined our staff in 2001; he’s currently one of five veterinarians on staff and performs the great majority of spay/neuter surgeries in our public, low-cost clinic which has served San Mateo County residents since 1970. Our vets have other responsibilities such as emergency care for strays, wellness checks, treatments and minor procedures for our shelter’s animal population which, at any given time, ranges from 450 to 1,100 animals.

Interesting fact about 1970. In that one year alone, the Peninsula Humane Society accepted 45,000 unwanted or stray dogs and cats! Just a few years later, we saw a significant drop.  Last year, our incoming dog and cat total was under 9,000. We’ve experienced this incredible drop despite our county’s human population growth and the fact that pets are more popular than ever.

Without question, the opening of our low-cost clinic and the public education efforts that followed have had a profound impact on companion animal overpopulation in our County and eliminated the need to euthanize healthy stray and unwanted animals for no reason other than lack of kennel space.

Dr. Sweetser could probably complete a dog or cat neuter with his eyes closed.  And, wouldn’t that be fun. Don’t worry -- your pets are in good hands.  He keeps his eyes open during the entire two-minute procedure.  Well, a dog neuter actually takes him little longer – five to 10 minutes.  Snip, snip and he’s on to another patient.  Spay surgeries are more invasive.  Removing a uterus and ovaries – which also eliminates forms of cancer – takes him 15-60 minutes.

Dr. Sweetser’s lightning fast fingers are impressive, but the real draw for local residents is our low-rates. The fee to fix a cat is $50 or $60 (for females). For dogs, it’s $80 to $140, with large females on the high end. By comparison, getting your pet fixed at a private veterinary clinic could cost $400 or more.  We don’t get push-back from our community’s private vet clinics and never have; they understand that providing a low-cost spay/neuter option is vital to our mission and has clearly helped us control the number of unwanted animals.

Please don’t associate our low-cost with poor quality; our clinic is no chop shop.  In addition to veterinarians who specialize in spay/neuter, we have great support staff, excellent protocols and first-rate equipment.  In fact, we were recently granted accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) following a comprehensive review of the shelter’s veterinary program. PHS/SPCA is just one of two accredited animal shelters in the state, and one of just 12 nationwide to receive this honor. PHS/SPCA achieved this highest level of veterinary excellence following a thorough evaluation by AAHA, including a rigorous review of the shelter’s practice protocols, medical equipment, facility and client service. Areas of focus included: patient care, surgery, client services, continuing education, emergency and urgent care, examination facilities, medical records, pain management, and safety. 

Are you sold? To book an appointment for your dog or cat’s spay or neuter surgery, call 650/340-7015.

Sharron March 04, 2013 at 06:10 AM
Our kitty, Edward is from PHS. We adopted him 7 years ago after the loss of 19 year old, our beloved Maometto. Edward was 18 mts-2 years. A stray. He lives the life of leisure. We adore him. We also have two house rabbits from PHS. Oscar and Rosie, indoors, but they do have an outdoor pen for a few hours outside. Also in the house. PHS does a wonderful job of caring and adopting out so many animals. A wonderful organization. Please adopt from a shelter and stay away from breeders and pet stores. Google House Rabbit Society for some wonderful stories about bunnies.Thanks PHS. Sharron
Jake Ostler March 13, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Great article. I love when people use their schooling and careers to help people and animals. I love that you help animals at such a low cost. I used to go to a veterinarian in Ottawa and he rarely charged people more then he had to, and people loved him for it. http://www.chapelhillveterinaryclinic.com/en/

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