StreetLife contacts one of our partner vets and schedules the sterilisation at a convenient time. Then we explain to the owner what will happen and when, including things like the dog not having any food on the morning of surgery, and what to expect post-surgery. If the dog is pregnant, then termination of the pregnancy is automatically included.
If the dog does not already have a microchip then one will be inserted at the time of sterilisation and registered to the owner. This is included and is mandatory.
On the day of surgery, the owner is responsible for transporting the dog to the appointed vet, where the dog will be examined and weighed. The owner also has to sign an additional form from the vet authorising anaesthesia for the surgery.
The dog is usually collected at the end of the day of surgery at a time agreed with the vet, who will also explain what should happen over the next few days while the dog recovers from the sterilisation. This may involve administering antibiotic / anti-inflammatory tablets as well as keeping the surgical wound clean and dry.
StreetLife pays the vet at an agreed time thereafter.
Pet owners who want to apply for help usually contact StreetLife via email or Facebook Messenger or one of our StreetEyes, outlining their situation and why they are asking for help.
A StreetLife representative or StreetEye will visit them to assess the situation and to see the dog(s). If we agree to help then the owner completes a simple application form with details about themselves (name, address, etc.) and about the animal (name, description, age, etc.) and we take some photos of each dog. We then agree what donation towards the cost of sterilisation the owner will make and, where possible, collect that money at the same time. Payment can also be made by bank transfer, prior to the surgery.
Stray / abandoned dogs present a few different issues. First, there is the matter of catching them, which can be very easy or incredibly difficult and time-consuming, depending on the nature of the dog and other circumstances.
StreetLife does not get involved with catching dogs. Usually, someone active and experienced in this aspect of animal welfare gets involved. Then you have to be sure the animal is a stray and not just a lost, abandoned or “latch key” (a dog allowed to roam free during the day) pet.
The next issue is registration of the microchip, which must be to an actual person (NIF and CC numbers required) and that person then becomes legally responsible for the dog. This is frequently a problem, so the microchip is registered either to a FAT (Família Adotiva Temporária - Temporary Foster Family) or a shelter until such time as the dog is rehomed, whereupon the registration is transferred to the new owner.
Otherwise, the process is broadly similar to the above with regard to getting the animal to the vet at the agreed time and collection thereafter – someone has to do it.
If you want to sterilise a stray then it is best to contact StreetLife or an animal shelter to fully understand the implications before getting too involved.
StreetLife supports a few local dog shelters by sterilising some of their “house guests” before they are rehomed. These shelters know how the process works, from contacting StreetLife through to completing the StreetLife Application Form to post-operative recovery.