Austin Animal Center has numerous programs and partnerships designed to help pets in the shelter, pets in the community and pets at home. Community Spay and Neuter Programs, Shelter-Neuter-Return, free rabies vaccination clinics, low-cost / free veterinary care are just a few of the programs offered.

Community Spay and Neuter Programs

Spay and neuter is a core component of keeping Austin a No Kill City. In 2015 alone, it’s estimated that more than 40,000 owned and sheltered pets were sterilized in Austin. Free and low cost services are available to make spay and neuter accessibly to every pet owner.

Free Days Owned Pet Spay and Neuter: These are spay and neuter surgeries and vaccines for owned pets conducted during Emancipet free day clinics for Austin/Travis County owned pets. (see details below)

Spay and Neuter Outreach: Austin Animal Center staff lead outreach efforts in high-intake neighborhoods. They pick up and transport owned pets to Emancipet, where they are sterilized and vaccinated. The pets are then returned by staff to their families.

Shelter-Neuter-Return: Through a partnership program with Austin Humane Society, some healthy stray cats brought to Austin Animal Center are transferred to Austin Humane Society, where they are sterilized, vaccinated and returned to the place they were found. Because the reclaim rate for lost cats is only 1 – 2% and the shelter operates at capacity most of the year, the SNR program is lifesaving for about 1,200 cats each year.

Rabies Clinic Spay and Neuter: In partnership with Emancipet, the Austin Animal Center holds two rabies clinics each year. In addition to providing free vaccines, collar, tag and microchip, AAC funds up to 100 spay and neuter surgeries per event.

Community Cats TNR: AAC funds feral cat sterilization and vaccines through a partnership with Austin Humane Society.

Each year, Austin and Travis County spend nearly $550,000 on community spay and neuter programs. Below is a list of programs and the amount of funding in Fiscal Year 2022 that went towards each of these programs.


Budgeted  Funds


Free Days with Emancipet Mobile


COA Gen Fund

Spay Neuter Outreach



Rabies Clinics Spay and Neuter



Community Cats TNR & SNR


COA Gen Fund

Free Days with Emancipet Mobile


Travis County





Spay/Neuter Clinics

In partnership with Emancipet, the City of Austin provides free spay/neuter surgery for dogs and cats in Austin/Travis County.

Included with the surgery:

  • Rabies vaccine (dogs and cats 3 months and older)
  • DHPP (for dogs 6 months and younger)
  • FVRCP (for cats 6 months and younger)
  • Microchip (unless already chipped)
  • Post-surgery pain medication

Transportation is available when needed. For more information please call (512) 978-0505 or email

Free Rabies Vaccination Events

The City of Austin hosts at least two free Rabies vaccination events each year in different locations within the City of Austin and Travis County. 

Texas State Law requires your pets to be vaccinated against rabies. Protect your pets and your family!

For everyone’s safety at the Rabies Clinics:

  • Dogs must be on leashes
  • Cats must be in carriers or secure boxes with air holes
  • Puppies should be in carriers or crates

Free Microchips and ID Tags

As a Travis County Resident, you can get a free microchip and ID tag for you pet. If your pet is not microchipped and/or does not have an ID tag, please come down to Austin Animal Services during the hours of 11am to 7pm to get a free microchip and/or ID tag for your pet. A pet that is microchipped, tagged, or both has a greater chance of returning to its owner.

Want to learn more about any of these programs in Austin and Travis County? See Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.