Veterinarian Performs Milestone Surgery

Dr. Rizal Lopez performs 25K spay neuter surgeries
Dr. Rizal Lopez performs 25K spay neuter surgeries

SPCA Tampa Bay celebrated Dr. Rizal Lopez’s 25,000th spay and neuter surgery milestone Monday, January 15, on a cat named Thumbelina. Lopez joined SPCA Tampa Bay more than a decade ago and he’s served the Tampa Bay area pet-loving community at the For-All shelter in Largo and the organization’s pet hospital in St. Petersburg.

To put that 25,000 spay and neuter number in perspective, Dr. Lopez has completed more surgeries than fans can fill Amalie Arena for a Tampa Bay Lightning game. While in private practice for 12 years, Dr. Lopez estimates he performed 1,000 surgeries. In his first year with SPCA Tampa Bay, Dr. Lopez operated on more than 3,000 animals. 

“His dedication has helped thousands of cats and dogs live longer, healthier lives,” said SPCA Tampa Bay CEO Martha Boden. WATCH DR. LOPEZ’S interview on YOUTUBE Animal Tails PODCAST.

With prior military and veterinary hospital experiences, Dr. Lopez joined SPCA Tampa Bay in 2011. He remains active in the veterinary industry as a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Pinellas County Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. In 2014, Dr. Lopez won the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Health Care Hero Award in the veterinary category.

Thumbelina the cat was Dr. Lopez 25,000 spay surgery.
Thumbelina was Dr. Lopez 25,000 spay surgery.

Spaying or neutering your pets prevents accidental litters, meaning there are fewer homeless animals in local shelters, and it also provides important health and behavioral benefits for your pets, and our community. The procedures reduce pets’ susceptibility to certain diseases, and prevent unwanted behaviors like roaming and marking territories.

Dr. Lopez says he’d like to thank the number of nurses and vet techs that have helped with these surgeries through the years. Is there another 25,000 on the horizon for Dr. Lopez? He completed 20 plus surgeries in three hours the day after this milestone.