In September, 2012, Rachel Contolella noticed that her two-year-old cat, Marley, was not behaving as he usually did. “He is like a dog. He plays fetch and runs all over the apartment,” she said in an interview. “Every time I went to pet him or feed him, he was very uninterested. Then I noticed him going – more like trying to go – to the litter box every 20 minutes. Then he didn’t seem able to move much so I rushed him to the vet.”
Rachel took Marley to a hospital near her Laguna Niguel home but was turned away because she did not have money to pay the bill. She took the cat home that evening and had a sleepless night. And the next morning she took him to the Family Pet Clinic in Anaheim Hills. Dr. Wan Goo Lee was able to ease Marley’s bladder blockage and Rachel took him home. But the next day, the problems recurred and Rachel rushed him back to the hospital. This time she was told that her cat needed surgery – and that he needed it immediately.
Rachel, who has a part-time job and does some modeling, has an autistic 8-year-old son. “Money was really, really tight,” she said, “and the rent was close to being due.” She had spent all her available cash the previous day and she told the hospital that she couldn’t afford to pay for the surgery.
The clinic’s staff did the paper work so Rachel could ask Angel Fund for help. The hospital and Angel Fund each contributed $500 to her bill and the surgery was performed. She also received financial help from IMOM.org, a volunteer website dedicated to helping sick and abused pets.
Today, Marley “is doing amazing” and he is “completely if not more like a little kitten again, chasing his tail and playing fetch. Marley brings so much joy to me and my family,” Rachel said. “If it wasn’t for Angel Fund and the hospital, he wouldn’t be here today.”