Spay & Neuter

Having your pets spayed/neutered and microchipped is the law in Waco.

About the Law

  • Applies only to dogs and cats over four months of age.
  • Owned dogs & cats: In addition to state-mandatory rabies vaccination, owned dogs and cats must be spayed/neutered & microchipped.
  • Community cats: In addition to the state-mandatory rabies vaccination, outside cats, both owned and unowned, must be spayed or neutered. No microchip required for community cats with the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) left ear tip, performed during spay/neuter surgery.

Exceptions to the Law

Breeder Pets & Elderly Pets

These pets, in addition to the state-mandatory rabies vaccination, must be microchipped, and must also have a veterinarian-issued Health Statement(PDF, 121KB)(PDF, 121KB) issued at least once every two years that must include the pet's microchip number.

Each puppy or kitten in a litter must be microchipped by four months of age and have a vet-issued Health Statement(PDF, 121KB) prior to sale or transfer.

  • Breeder must have this information available upon request by law enforcement or animal control. It is the new owner’s responsibility to obtain these documents from their Breeder during the sale or transfer of the animal.
  • Medical Reasons: A veterinarian can exempt a non-breeding pet for medical / health reasons. This exemption must be documented on the pet's medical record. Pet owner must have this information available upon request by law enforcement or animal control.


Free & Low-Cost Spay/Neuter - Eligibility

  • Residents of the City of Waco may qualify for FREE spay/neuter for owned dogs and cats based on income, location/zip code, and available funding.
  • Clinic offering FREE & LOW-COST spay/neuter option:  Animal Birth Control Clinic
  • Community Cats (outdoor or outdoor/indoor) qualify for free Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR includes spay/neuter, Rabies and a left “eartip” performed by a vet during spay/neuter surgery. Loaner TNR traps available with refundable deposit. For more details, visit

Low-cost spay/neuter options

FACT: There are FREE and low-cost options to getting your animal spay/neutered and microchipped. A fine for non-compliance could cost you over $500 if your animal gets impounded at the Animal Shelter.

Spay/neuter surgery could cost as little as $60 (depending on your qualifications and where you get the surgery performed). 

See the entire Municipal Code of Ordinances relating to animals in the City of Waco here.