ASPCA Hosts Free Pet Vaccine Fair for El Monte Community

November 10, 2022

When Joe M., a landlord in Los Angeles County, discovered a black-and-white Shih Tzu-mix left behind in a vacated apartment, he decided to adopt the dog for his family.  

“When I found him in the empty apartment, he was eating raw, uncooked pasta,” says Joe, who later named the dog Shadow because he follows Joe’s daughter everywhere.

From left: The ASPCA’s Alissa Hepburn, Registered Veterinary Technician, Susana Villa, Senior Veterinary Assistant; and Dr. Coral Ma.

On Saturday, November 5, Shadow was one of 367 cats and dogs who received free vaccinations at the ASPCA’s Vaccine Fair in El Monte’s Tony Arceo Memorial Park in Los Angeles County. We coordinated the event with the City of El Monte and in conjunction with our El Monte Cat Project, a high-intensity trap-neuter-return project for outdoor cats.

The ASPCA’s Ariana Banuelos, Senior Veterinary Assistant, with Shadow.

“We exceeded our goal of vaccinating 300 pets belonging to El Monte residents,” says Jennifer Anderson, Senior Director of Operations of the ASPCA Community Medicine team. “Helping so many dogs and cats in the community in just one day makes a huge impact.”

From left: Valentina with members of her family and the ASPCA’s Arlene Hall, Registered Veterinary Technician, and the ASPCA’s Ellie Cuevas, Senior Veterinary Assistant.

Among the community members helped were Graciela L. and her children Ariana and Angel, who brought their white Westie mix, Valentina, for vaccines and a microchip, and Daniel F. and his dog, Kelo, a six-year-old pit bull mix, who live three blocks from the park and stopped by to get vaccines and a microchip.

“I was grateful for this opportunity,” Daniel says.

Left to right, local resident Daniel F. with Keto and the ASPCA’s Dr. Coral Ma, Alissa Hepburn, and Amanda Barajas, Patient Liaison, Community Medicine.

Vaccines and More

In addition to offering vaccines, ASPCA veterinarians Dr. Guadalupe Sandoval, Dr. Coral Ma and Dr. Jacqueline Juarez, along with our veterinary staff, provided pets with microchips and flea and tick treatment. 

Appointments for spay and neuter surgery were also made for many cats and dogs, including Yasmin C.’s cat Felix, who was scheduled to be neutered the following week.

Yasmin C., a local resident, brought her cat, Felix, to the Vaccine Fair.

“Felix needed his vaccines, and I saved a lot of money,” says Yasmin, who learned about the event on social media.

The ASPCA in Los Angeles offers free, high-quality spay/neuter for cats and dogs, including community cats, in specific zip codes in the city of El Monte, in conjunction with Stray Paws Animal Haven, an ASPCA partner.

“A high number of cats enter animal shelters from El Monte, which indicates a need for strategic spay/neuter services in this area to reduce the number of unowned cats as well as smells, unwanted behaviors like fighting and excessive noise like yowling,” says Jennifer. “Because it reduces the community cat population, spay/neuter surgeries also improve the overall welfare of El Monte’s cats.” 

A Commitment to Animal Welfare in L.A.

We have been supporting and providing direct care to in Los Angeles dogs and cats since 2014, including more than 118,000 spay and neuter surgeries and more than $9 million in funding to local animal welfare organizations.  

From left: The ASPCA’s Judith Cells-Luna, Coordinator of Feline Program Outreach and Debra Olmedo, Manager of Foster and Community Outreach.

The ASPCA has over 45 staff in the area who work on a range of these and other initiatives, including providing free/low-cost basic veterinary care, operating kitten foster and adoption programs, targeted community outreach, support for community cats and relocating homeless animals to areas with higher demand for shelter animals.  

Our staff also works with lawmakers to increase housing opportunities for families with pets in Los Angeles.

At the Vaccine Fair, Daniella Urbina, on behalf of the office of Hilda L. Solis, who represents residents of the First District on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, presented the ASPCA and the City of El Monte with a Commendation “for dedicated services to the community and numerous contributions for the benefit of residents of LA County.”

Daniella Urbina, left, representing Hilda L. Solis’s office, with the ASPCA’s Jennifer Anderson, Senior Director of Operations, Community Medicine, and Angelique Reynoso, Senior Manager of State Legislation. 

“We were excited to share with Supervisor Solis our interest in extending COVID eviction protections for renters with pets and look forward to continuing that dialogue,” says Angelique Reynoso, ASPCA Senior Manager of State Legislation, who attended the Vaccine Fair. 

Serina N., who was at the vaccine fair with her parents, had seen a flyer in the community advertising the event. They brought their cat, Nala, and dog, Duke. 

Serina and her cat Nala, left, with Serina’s parents and Duke, the family dog.

“Duke needed a rabies booster, and Nala is new to the family, so she needed her first set of shots,” says Serina. Both pets were also microchipped.

“This event was really good for our community,” Serina adds.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s work in Los Angeles, please visit www.aspca.org/LA