LORI’S CORNER: Monthly Spay/Neuter Clinic – The Community Responds

Last Saturday was our monthly free dog clinic in Compton at East Rancho Dominguez Park. There are always too many dogs needing service and not enough cage space and time to do all the dogs that come out. We ended our day spaying/neutering 33 dogs.

Each dog is also vaccinated and micro chipped all at no charge. Ivania and I signed up an additional 50 people, some with two, three and four dogs at home that need the free service at a future clinic. There is always a waiting list and we always end up turning people away which proves my theory, MOST dog owners want to do the “right thing”. They want to spay/neuter and vaccinate their dogs. They don’t always know what the surgery is called but they know, they don’t want any litters of puppies.

Too many people in power, the same people who make the financial decisions for city, county, state budgets believe that “poor dog owners” in areas like Compton don’t care about getting their dogs fixed and that they want puppies to make money. When in reality, most dog owners don’t want puppies, even if their dog has an accidental litter. They either don’t know where to get an affordable surgery or have poor information on spay/neuter. I can’t tell you how many people think that their dog is too young to have puppies at a year, or they are worried that their dog’s personality will change overnight after the surgery, or that their dog might die while being sterilized. Some dog owners are so nervous that they wait with us in the park while their pet is being sterilized.

Ivania and Rosalie are my two dedicated Compton Clinic volunteers who help me process paperwork, sign clients up for future clinics, and trouble answer health and behavioral problems that come up. In some cases, we are the only resource for accurate information on dog care for Compton Dog Owners who may not be able to afford to go to a vet or sign up for an obedience training class. Debbie came out to help answer training questions and Edgar and Gerardo, both Sunday Pit bull school classmates came out to help make our day very successful. Edgar took the photo above of Laurie’s little dog and his sister created the Adopt Me graphics. We passed out dog treats, dog toys, collars and leashes, as well as information on low cost vaccinations and other medical services and information on the HSUS dog fighting tip line.

The clinics in the park are also a place where people often show up with sick dogs, dogs that they cannot keep, and of course, many stray dogs wander into the park. Foster Elementary teacher Laurie had her rescue dog spayed and now needs to find her a home. She found this tiny dog running on Rosecrans almost dead. Another client brought us a 5 week old pit bull puppy that looked as though he had been attacked in the eye by an adult dog. We took this puppy to a vet immediately and he is now in a foster home recovering.

The big question of the day is always, which stray dogs can we rescue, which ones need to be rescued the most. We found a lab pit bull mix who looked very clean and healthy, and she had been spayed. I knew to just hold on to her and her owner would eventually wake up and start looking for her. I was right, “Goody’s” owner Roy did show up around 1:00 and walked her back home, two blocks south of the park.

A young brindle male pit bull wasn’t as lucky. He was intently following a man past our clinic. He sure looked like the dog’s owner. He claimed that the dog didn’t belong to him. Debbie and I didn’t know what to do, so we gave him “The Clancy Test”. We put a collar and leash on the boy and I went to my car and brought out Clancy. The good news, he passed. He was social with Clancy and rolled around in the grass with him for about ten minutes. I loaded this boy up and Edgar named him “Askim”. He is now living at our kennel and is available for adoption after he is neutered next week.

We will be back in the park on March 13th.

Please consider making a tax deductible donation of $100 to pay for a spay/neuter surgery for a Compton dog. To donate towards our Spay/Neuter Program, please visit our Downtown Dog Rescue Giving Site.

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