After a Free Fix, Buster Symbolizes the Benefits of Accessible Spay/Neuter Services

December 28, 2022

When Milton G.’s Labrador Retriever, Buster, began to show signs of frustration and other testosterone-related behaviors, he decided to finally have the seven-year-old dog neutered.

“I knew that female dogs in the neighborhood might be in heat,” says Milton, a security officer. “I didn’t want Buster to get another dog pregnant or be responsible for an unwanted litter.”

Milton and Buster. 

Milton was familiar with the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic in South Los Angeles, which is located near his home. A few years back, his wife’s male Shih Tzu roamed off their property, and she retrieved him at the South L.A. Animal Shelter located next door to the ASPCA clinic. 

Milton made an appointment for Buster and on the morning of September 27, dropped him off at the clinic. After Buster was neutered by Dr. Coral Ma, Milton picked him up in the afternoon that same day.

Jessica Marquez, Senior Veterinary Assistant, Community Medicine, with Buster.

“The staff gave me a lot of helpful information, and they were very professional,” says Milton, who met the eligibility criteria for free services and presented a spay/neuter voucher from the City of Los Angeles. “I was very happy with the service.”

The Right Decision

Buster’s procedure was one of 7,093 spay and neuter surgeries the ASPCA performed at its South L.A. Clinic between January 1 and November 30, 2022. The team also conducted roughly 571 pet wellness visits, primarily for kittens in the ASPCA L.A. Foster program

There are many good reasons to spay/neuter a pet, including reducing the pet’s sexual motivation and preventing serious medical problems like prostate and testicular cancer in males and uterine infections and breast cancer in females.

Dr. Coral Ma, Community Medicine Veterinarian, neutering Buster.

“While intact male dogs don’t have heat cycles like females, they may catch the scent of a nearby female in heat,” says Jennifer Anderson, the ASPCA’s Senior Director of Operations, Community Medicine, Western Division. “Males may also stop eating, increase marking and try to track down the female dog throughout the duration of her heat cycle.” 

No matter when a dog is neutered, the results—including testosterone-related behaviors of roaming, urine marking, mounting and same-sex dog aggression—often decrease or disappear. (The ASPCA also debunks common myths about spaying and neutering).

“Part of Our Family”

In addition to Buster and his wife’s Shih Tzu, who is older and neutered, Milton’s family has two cats, Lucy and Frenchy, a mother-daughter pair who are both spayed.

Milton, his wife Yohona, and their teenage daughter, Angela have always loved animals, and Milton frequently recommends the ASPCA’s services to neighbors and friends for their pets’ wellness and medical needs. 

“He’s part of our family,” Milton says. “And we want what’s best for him.”

Milton and Buster with the ASPCA’s Jessica Marquez; Jennifer Ramirez, Patient Liaison, Community Medicine; and Yadira “Yadi” Picazo, Patient Liaison, Community Medicine.