The Sam Simon Foundation – Free Surgery Clinic

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

You can also take a look at the pet grants from all the other states.

In the year 2007, The Sam Simon Foundation started offering free surgery for a variety of conditions, including mass removals, bladder stones and amputations.

The Sam Simon Foundation will accommodate requests based on their urgency, not the order they were received. For instance, some conditions, like cherry eye, may require a wait of up to a year before they can be treated. Others, such as pyometra may be scheduled immediately.

You may need to bring your pet to their clinic for a pre-exam depending on the severity of the condition. A physical exam will take place and the urgency level recorded. Only if performing a surgery on your pet is expected, they will schedule exams. General exams are NOT offered.

The foundation requires at least two follow-up visits for all non-spay/neuter procedures. Each location is usually only 2-5 miles away from the previous one in order to be accessible week-to-week.

Click here to see a complete list of locations.

All surgeries are at the discretion of their doctor. The Sam Simon Foundation includes e-collars, proper bandaging, pain medication, antibiotics, after-care instructions, and follow-up exams with the surgeries performed.

You CANNOT reschedule missed appointments.

Are my pet and I eligible?

There are no minimum or maximum age or weight requirements for major surgeries. Instead, the eligibility of a pet is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Only one qualification is required to be eligible for services: your household income must not exceed $40,000 annually.

Acceptable proofs of income:

  • Current tax returns
  • Low-income utility bill, which are dated within the past three months
  • Documentation proving government assistance, such as (however, not limited to) WIC, GR, CalWORKs or Medi-Cal, which are dated within the past three month
  • Current dog license with reduced fees based on income

The following are not acceptable as proof of income:

  • Paycheck stubs
  • W-2s
  • SSI letters and SSA-1099
  • Undated benefits cards

Request an FSC Appointment

Click here to Request an Appointment.

Please do NOT complete an application if you have submitted a request to have surgery via email or left a message on the hotline. Multiple requests for the same animal will delay the response.

PLEASE NOTE: FSC appointments are booked on a priority basis. The mass check and cherry eye surgery are the most requested appointments. You might have to wait several months for a check if your pet has a mass (tumor or growth) that isn’t bleeding. While cherry eye surgery requests may take up to a year. You will need to provide clear pictures of your pet’s injury or illness, along with any pertinent medical records to assist in determining your pet’s priority level.

You will get a response via telephone within one business day for urgent requests. For non-urgent requests, it may take up five business days.

For those who are unable to wait for a reply or an appointment, click here to see a list of foundations that may be able to help you.

Day of the Appointment

After you have been granted an appointment, please follow the following guidelines:

  1. On the night before the surgery, make sure your pet has food between 8:00 and 10:00 pm.
  2. Please don’t give them food after 10:00pm, and no water after midnight. You must keep water and food withheld until the morning of surgery.
  3. Before your dog arrives at the clinic, they must be walked. They will not be allowed to be out of the car while waiting for your appointment.
  4. It is important to arrive on time. You will lose your appointment if you arrive late.
  5. All dogs must be kept on leashes or in a standard pet carrier.
  6. All cats must be transported in a standard cardboard or plastic cat carrier. Cats brought in other types of carriers, such as a bird cage, pillowcase, regular cardboard box, or plastic bin, will not be accepted. Also, only one cat is allowed per carrier.
  7. You must keep your pet(s) in the car during check-in with the reception staff. They must remain there until you are instructed by staff to bring them into the clinic. If you’re seen walking, carrying, or standing around with your pet, your appointment will be canceled.
  8. Please be patient, as it may take up to two hours for your pet to be seen. Remember that the clinic does not accept animals on a first-come first-served basis. Instead, the medical staff determines the order in which animals are admitted each day. This is based on their species, size, and sex. Therefore, you may be called immediately or last. You will also risk losing your appointment if you cannot be located when called. So, it is not recommended that you leave the immediate area while you wait.
  9. You must provide proof that your annual household income is below $40,000. You will lose your appointment if you fail to provide proof of income. Here is a list of acceptable proof forms.
  10. Your pick-up time will be provided the day you drop off your pet. And you MUST return at the exact time you were given. They are a mobile clinic and leave at the end of the day. There is no boarding area, so any animal left at the clinic after pick-up will be considered abandoned and taken to the local shelter.
  11. Pick-up times are usually between 2:30pm to 6:30pm. However, this is subject to change. If your pick-up time is delayed or moved, a staff member will contact you.

PLEASE NOTE: If you won’t be able to drop off your pet at the clinic, the person responsible must bring the following documents:

  1. Photocopy of your Driver’s License, state I.D., or passport
  2. Proof of your income
  3. Either a signed note authorizing The Sam Simon Foundation to perform surgery on your pet and releasing it from all liability or download and fill out the Surgical Release Form. If you’re unable to print it, please make sure to review it with the person bringing your pet in, so they can answer any questions. You will lose your appointment if you fail to do this.

After the Appointment

  1. The staff will provide you with post-operative instructions. So, please read them carefully.
  2. Your pet should NOT be left alone for the first 24 hours after surgery. To ensure your pet’s continued recovery, you should keep an eye on them after returning home. Moreover, to prevent any complications, or death from exposure to outdoor temperatures, all cats and dogs must be kept indoors for at least 24 hours following surgery. Please do not allow your cat to be taken out of its carrier until you get home.
  3. After anesthesia, an upset stomach may occur. Therefore, do not give food or water to your pet immediately once you return home. You may offer a few ice cubes for them to chew or lick for the first 3 hours. After 3 hours, you can offer 1/4 of their usual food, and small amounts of water every 3 hours. Over the next 24 hours, you can gradually increase the food and water. Then, your pet can resume their normal eating routine the next day.
  4. After surgery, please restrain your animal’s activities for 10-14 days. You should not allow your cat to run or jump. Furthermore, cats must be kept indoors for 10-14 days. To ensure optimal recovery, your dog must be kept indoors and should only be taken on short walks on a leash.
  5. The incision should be checked at least twice daily until it heals. It is normal for a small amount of blood to appear right after the surgery. However, you should immediately dial the emergency number to report any continued swelling or drainage.
  6. If the incision becomes dirty, use a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide to gently clean the area.
  7. After surgery, your cat or dog should not be allowed to wet themselves for at least 14 days. Thus, bathing is not allowed.
  8. Sutures that were used for surgery are easily dissolvable and shouldn’t be removed. For cats, to prevent dust particles from irritating incisions, they should use shredded newspaper rather than kitty litter in the litter box for 7 days.
  9. If it is not prescribed by your veterinarian, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ANY OTHER MEDICATION to your pet, except for what they send with you home today. Tylenol and aspirin can be fatal for your pet.
  10. If your pet was given a cone, also known as the “E-collar,” after the surgery, please do not remove it for 10-14 days, unless the staff advises otherwise.
  11. Contact your local emergency veterinary hospital or private veterinarian for any non-emergency questions regarding your pet’s health or for an urgent matter not related to today’s surgery. You can leave a message at 1-888-364-7729 to schedule an appointment.

PLEASE NOTE: If you do not return in time to pick up your pet, he/she will be taken to the ANIMAL SHELTER indicated on the post-op sheet that you received in the morning. There will not be a grace period.

Its also worth taking a look at Actors and Others for Animals – Emergency Medical Assistance and Helping Friends – Voice for the Animals Foundation.