Thank you for choosing Helping-PAW to care for your pet. We promise the best care possible while your pet is in our hands. Along with your estimate for care, please note the following instructions for before and after any surgical procedures.


  • Every cat must be in its own carrier – no box or cardboard carriers.
  • NO BOX TRAPS of any kind are accepted.
  • Drop off times: begin at 8:00 AM and are staggered to reduce wait times. You will be given an approximate drop off time.
  • No food after midnight the night before – do not withhold water!

Instructions Before Surgery

  • Please take away all food after 11 PM the night before.
  • Please make sure you allow your pet to drink water.
  • All animals must be healthy and over 5 pounds (unless otherwise approved)
  • If you feel you pet is not healthy or has been diagnosed with a condition, you must advise us. We cannot be responsible for complications due to withheld information.
  • Please arrive at pre-designated appointment time.
  • You will then leave your pet with us and come back for pickup when advised.

What to expect now that you have dropped off your pet

  • We have many procedures each surgery day and will give every patient the highest level of care and attention.
  • When your pet is awake and stable and ready to go home, we will call you.
  • If you need to reach us, please call 516-385-4527. Please only call if necessary, as we are busy working on your pet and others.
  • We promise to call you when your pet can be picked up. Please pick your pet up within one hour of being called. There will be a charge for late pick-ups.


1. There are typically no stitches/sutures or staples that need to be removed. The suture material used is absorbable and the stitches are under the skin (unless we have informed you otherwise).

2. After arriving home today, please keep your pet in its carrier or in a small, confined space for 3-4 hours. After 3-4 hours, keep your pet in a quiet, small place such as a bathroom overnight so you can best observe and keep them quiet. At that time provide a litter box for cats, and food and water for dogs and cats.

3. You can feed your pet his or her normal meal if they are wide awake, alert and hungry. You can give any prescribed medications at that time as well, if appropriate.

4. No running, jumping, playing, swimming or other strenuous activity for 7 days. Keep your pet quiet. Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry and warm. No baths for one week during the recovery period. Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats kept indoors.

5. Check the incision site twice daily. If your pet is wearing an Elizabethan collar, they should not be able to reach the incision to lick it. This will ensure that the site remains clean and dry and heals well. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal.

6. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, the Elizabethan collar must be adjusted so your pet cannot reach the incision. The number one complication we see is from licking the incision. Complications as a result of that will be your financial responsibility. We strongly recommend getting a collar from us today or from a local pet store.

7. Your pet’s appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Lethargy lasting for more than 24 hours post-op, diarrhea or vomiting are not normal and your pet should be taken to your regular veterinarian should that occur. Dogs may have a slight cough for a few days after surgery.

8. Do not change your pet’s diet at this time and do not give junk food, table scraps, mild or any other people food during the recovery period. This could mask post-surgical complications.

9. We recommend your pet receive a post-operative examination with your regular veterinarian 7 to 10 days after surgery. Have the incision checked for complete healing and to discuss additional needs, follow-up care and vaccination boosters.

10. If there are any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call this emergency only number: (631)-387-2515. If there is an emergency after hours, contact your regular veterinarian or the closest emergency hospital.

11. THE MOST COMMON COMPLICATION HAPPENS WHEN PET’S LICK THEIR INCISIONS! This is preventable by using the correct sized Elizabethan collar- we will provide one for you at an additional fee. If you get one elsewhere, you must be sure it is properly fitted. We cannot be responsible for self-trauma by the pet if the wrong sized collar does not work. This can be a costly and dangerous problem. Please allow us to help you pick the correct size.

12. HELPING PAW will treat at a designated location, at minimal cost, any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-op instructions are followed in full. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions (including a poor-fitting e-collar or licking surgical sites) or for contagious diseases.

13. Please note that with any vaccine it is possible to see a reaction. Reactions can be as mild as pain or swelling at the injection site, itching , tenderness in the area to severe facial swelling, difficulty breathing, and rarely collapse. These reactions usually occur within the first 30 minutes after injection but can occur up to 24 hours later and should be considered emergencies. We will certainly address that Should it occur. Often owners claim their pets are a bit tired or lethargic the day of vaccines. If all is not right in 24 hours, please let us know.

Method Of Payment

We accept cash only. Please plan to have the correct amount of cash at pick up. Payment is due at time services are rendered. Since we are a charity, donations are welcome and appreciated!