To commemorate Feb. 25, 2014, as “World Spay Day,” the Seattle Animal Shelter’s Spay and Neuter Clinic is offering free spay and neuter packages to area pets scheduled for surgery Feb. 24 through 28, 2014. 

Microchips and vaccinations will also be offered free for animals having surgery on those days. 

Space is limited; to schedule an appointment, call (206) 386-4260. 

“Spaying and neutering allows your pet to have a longer, healthier, happier life,” said Dr. Mary Ellen Zoulas, director of the shelter’s Spay and Neuter Clinic. “It can reduce the risk of serious health problems, eliminate undesirable behaviors such as fighting and spraying, and reduce inter-dog aggression.”

These surgeries usually cost $120 to $155 for dogs, $85-$90 for cats and $75 for rabbits. Microchips cost $30 and vaccinations run $10 each. 

While there is no residency requirement to take advantage of this special offer, pets of Seattle residents must be currently licensed or a license can be purchased on the day of the appointment. For altered animals, a one-year license is $20 for cats and $27 for dogs, or a two-year license is $27 for cats and $37 for dogs.

Zoulas also recommends having your pet (dog, cat or rabbit) microchipped while it is at the clinic for surgery, as microchips provide a permanent means of identification should your pet ever become lost or stolen.

Dogs, cats and rabbits can be spayed or neutered at 4 months of age or older. 

This year’s special offer of the free spay or neuter, microchip and vaccination packages is made possible by the city’s Pet Population Control Fund, which provides financial assistance year-round to pet owners who cannot afford the cost of spaying and neutering.

“Spay Day” is an international campaign of The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. 

For more information about Spay Day Seattle, to make a donation to the Pet Population Control Fund or to learn more about other Seattle Animal Shelter services, call (206) 386-7387 (PETS), or visit www.seattleanimalshelter.org.