Wednesday is often the busiest day at the Austin Humane Society’s clinic because of its free spay/neuter program. Vets and vet techs treat between 50 to 90 feral cats brought in from the community to proactively limit feral cat populations.

Dr. Katie Luke fills out paperwork on a cat before performing a spay surgery. The cat, which has been anesthetized, is held in place by restraints and monitored by a tongue clamp.

A feral cat in its cage before spaying. Trappers throughout the community that have been given traps from the Austin Humane Society bring in feral cats as early as 6 A.M. to be spayed or neutered and released back into the community.

Ashley Steffey and Emily Johnson, vet techs, struggle to put a feral cat into a box to be anesthetized. Cats are given a shot in their cages, but as a last resort, they are put into a box that fills up with anesthesia.

Dr. Katie Luke works carefully on a spay surgery. Because veternarians are in high demand, they often spread their time out at several shelters.

Ashley Steffey tips a cat's ear on an operating table. Tipping is the sign for feral cats who have been spayed or neutered.

Melinda Brown, a vet tech, shields a cat that has just been euthanized from the window to give it some privacy in its last moments. Trappers have the option of testing for FIV (AIDS) or FLV (Leukemia). "Some trappers might rehabilitate or socialize the cats, but it's hard to keep it from spreading FLV," Brown said.

Vet techs check the cats before operating for signs of previous spay or neuter surgeries.

Kerri Luker, a vet tech, eats Kung Pao Chicken in the recovery room during her break. "Lots of the vets have their own pets. My official statement is I have between 2 and 12 cats," said Luker.

Kerri Luker cradles a 16 pound cat under anesthesia. "If he was awake, we would not be snuggling," she said.

Ashley Steffey takes a call in the surgery room after work slows down.