How to Submit a Sample to SOPA

Contact us by Phone: 309-944-6373 or Email:


Set up an account

The best way to establish an account with SOPA is to complete the New Client form.
*Please note SOPA is NOT accepting new clients at this time. Please do not submit samples if you are not already an established client. This may be reviewed in the Fall of 2022. 

Complete the Submission form for your patient

Either electronically by clicking the link above
Blank submission forms may be printed, completed by hand, and mailed with the sample.

Helpful tips:
• Clinical history! The more information you can provide the better.
• Images! The online submission form provides a way to upload images (e.g. photographs, radiographs, etc.), but feel free to directly e-mail files or links to online images. 

Packaging the Specimen

• Use non-breakable plastic containers that have a tight closing lid.
• Enclose in secondary packaging (usually a sealed plastic bag with some absorbent material inside).
• Ship in a rigid outer container (usually a cardboard box).

Other tips
• Absorptive packing helps when there is a leak (medical pads, cotton strips, or paper towels).
• Place paperwork in a separate plastic bag, ESPECIALLY if filled out by hand.
• Considerations for very large specimens - allow to fix in formalin for 24-48 hours, then shipped wrapped in formalin-wetted paper towels or gauze within a plastic bag instead of a big jar full of formalin.
• Packaging supplies are available at no cost! Complete the Supplies Request form and return to us by email.

Ship to:      SOPA - Dr. Bell

                  637 N. State St.
                  Geneseo, IL 61254

Special Instructions for International Shipments (including Canada)

Here are some tips for the import of oral biopsy specimens from cats and dogs:

    • Do not require a USDA import permit (i.e. Exempt Animal Specimen)
    • “Exempt Animal Specimen” may be entered as the description of goods on the carrier’s waybill and/or customs invoice
    • Follow USDA APHIS Guideline 1102: Feline and Canine Material

According to Guideline 1102, a written statement that accompanies the specimen should:


Be written on letterhead with the physical address of the sender


Identify the specimen including species – for example, “3 teeth and tissue from the gingiva of a dog in 2 jars of formalin”


State that the specimen does not contain any other animal-derived material from livestock or poultry


State that the specimen was not derived from feline or canine species that were inoculated with or exposed to any infectious agents of USDA agricultural concern


Attach one copy of the document to the exterior of the package and include another inside.

IMPORT LETTER TEMPLATE – feel free to download this document and modify on your own letterhead.

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