Archive for the ‘Angel Fund Grant Recipients’ Category

Young Shepard‘s Life Saved With Assist From Angel Fund

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

In October, 2015, Tamar Goldberg took Lily, her young shepard mix, for some exercise to a dog park near her Balboa Lake home in the San Fernando Valley. Lily was young – a little more than a year old. And she still had many of the instincts of a puppy.

Later, she was “eating a lot of grass and trying to throw up,” Tamar said. “She was unable to jump up on the sofa. She hadn’t pooped. Clearly, she was not acting right. I didn’t know what was wrong.”

So Tamar took Lily to VCA McClave Animal Hospital on Reseda Blvd. “The vet [Dr. Nada Khalaf] believed she had a blockage and tried a lot of things to treat her without surgery, which was going to be expensive. Nothing showed on her x-rays so we didn’t know what was causing it. After two days, she wasn’t any better and she wasn’t eating. So we decided to open her up.”

Dr. Khalaf found a rubber nose off a stuffed animal. “It looked like a pig snout. Lily swallowed it whole. When it got to the small intestine, it couldn’t pass. It was like a cork,” Tamar said. “Part of her intestine had started to die so Dr. Khalaf had to cut away the dead tissue before she sewed her back up.”

Lily healed quickly and today at the age of two she is a normal, healthy dog. “She is great. No problem,” Tamar said. “But we don’t go to the dog park any more. Now we do a lot of hiking.”

Tamar and husband, Darren, a transportation captain who coordinates drivers for shoots of television commercials, applied to Angel Fund for help when they knew that surgery was needed. “I had not been working and we were a little bit short,” Tamar said. “Angel Fund contributed $600 and so did the hospital and we took out a personal loan.”

She added that the hospital was very helpful. And, she said, ”for sure” the surgery saved Lily’s life. “If she hadn’t had the surgery, she wouldn’t have made it. There’s no question about that.”

Tamar now is working as a special education teacher for an LAUSD charter school. Lily and her sister, Awesome, are best pals to her two children. Awesome is seven-year-old son Zeke’s dog and sleeps on his bed. Lily is 10-year-old Ariella’s dog and sleeps on her bed.

With Help From Angel Fund, Lillie Tries to Get Back on Her Feet

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

 

aAnn Champion, a production designer in film and television, has “always had animals and the one promise I always make them is, if their lives are at stake and they can continue on with quality of life, I’m not going to arbitrarily end their lives because I don’t have money.”

That promise was put to a severe test last summer.  Her Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, then about 9½ years old and a picture of health, suddenly and inexplicably lost the use of her legs.

“Lillie had always been very fit,” Ann said, “so it was devastating to find her collapsed on the floor beside her bed when I went to get her to go for our walk [one August day]. She was completely alert and could raise her head and wag her tail, but even though she was trying to move all four legs she could not get them underneath her to stand up.”

Lillie weighed 110 pounds, “almost as much as I do,” Ann said.  So it was almost impossible to move her.  But Ann managed to get her in her car, with help from a neighbor, for a trip to an emergency hospital. The doctor did x-rays and blood tests that showed nothing wrong. He recommended taking her to a neurologist at a specialty hospital.

The neurologist recommended putting Lillie on steroids to reduce inflammation in the discs in her neck, which she thought were causing the problem.  That sounded better to Ann than the other option – expensive surgery.  “It would be a reasonable course of treatment and we could expect a good outcome,” the  neurologist told her.

Quickly, Lillie was doing better.  After a few days, the hospital wanted to send Lillie home to recover with outpatient physical therapy.  “That created a whole new set of problems,” Ann said. “She was a very big girl and there was no way to get in or out of our Studio City home without having to negotiate steps. While there was a lot I was capable of doing to help her to continue to improve, I could not lift her.”

So Ann found a rehabilitation hospital. Lillie was fitted with a harness that made it easier to help her. The doctor at the rehab hospital said that he expected a full recovery.  “The only negative in all this truly blessed and positive news was that it would take time – and time was money that I didn’t have.”

Ann had maxed out her Care Credit card and she applied for a higher limit. She also asked about Angel Fund and applied for help.  She recalled visiting Lillie and taking her for a walk in the corridor with the help of the special harness a few days later.

“She was doing really well.  I didn’t have to support her front end at all and she was placing her hind feet correctly and she was pulling me through the corridor.  And I was thinking: ‘Yes! A couple more weeks of this and we’re gonna be home and walking up the hill.’  Then Lillie started doing less well, running a fever  . . . and she started back sliding.”

The rehab hospital wanted Lillie to have a checkup so Ann took her to a nearby hospital, which found nothing wrong besides the disc problem.  Ann decided to take her to the veterinarian in Pasadena who had treated Lillie in the past. He found liver problems, including a lesion.  “So that was it,” she said, “there was nothing more that could be done. It was such a shock. Several vets had said: ‘You should have a full recovery’ or ‘You should expect a good outcome.’  Nobody said, ‘well, she may not make it.’ So I made this huge leap of faith and took on this enormous financial commitment.  I‘m going to be paying for the rest of my life.”

Expenses for Lillie’s care totaled more than $9,000, including euthanasia and aquamation.  She used her Care Credit to pay the balance owed to the rehab hospital – less $500 provided by Angel Fund.  She also tried to raise money through an online website but after Lillie had to be put down that did not work.  “I was very grateful for the help I got from Angel Fund.  In this kind of situation, everything is a help.  It’s a wonderful program.  It was a godsend.”

Ann is struggling financially because working in the film and television industry is erratic at best.

Ann had given a home to a Swissy named Rozie before Lillie came into her life.  She had lived with Rozie for six years after acquiring her at age six.  So she had expected to have more time with Lillie, who had come into her life at four and a half years old.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs “are, without a doubt, the most wonderful dogs you can imagine in terms of their disposition,” she said.  “They are beautiful and they are just absolutely incredible. But as much as I love the breed, I will never have another.  They are so wonderful and you love them so much and their life span is so short.  When they die, they just rip your heart out.”

Angel Fund Helps Rescue Joy After Encounter with Foxtails

Monday, September 12th, 2016

joy-2-angel-fund-2016In the spring of 2015, Jose Perez moved with his Golden Retriever Joy, from an apartment to a house with a large yard. It seemed an ideal place for the young dog to exercise and play.

But Joy found trouble in that back yard.  “She barked a lot,” Jose said, and “I would pet her and she would jump all over me and I would try to wipe her nose [she had a nasal discharge].  I thought she had some kind of flu.”

Jose took Joy to a veterinarian who gave him some nose drops but they didn’t seem to help.  So he took her to All Pets Medical and Surgical Center in Phillips Ranch not far from his home in Pomona. The doctors at All Pets outlined a treatment plan. But Jose, a single father, who was working two jobs to make ends meet did not have the money to pay for it.

All Pets suggested that Angel Fund might be able to help.  Angel Fund approved Jose and Dr. Thomas Beighlie performed surgery on Joy.  Foxtails  had worked their way into Joy’s nose and caused the severe discomfort and bleeding she was experiencing.

“I didn’t know there were foxtails in my backyard,” Jose said. “They were inside a wall at the back of the yard. The veterinarian put her to sleep and opened part of her nose and removed the foxtail that was stuck up there. After I brought her home, she would follow me around the house and lay on the floor when I stopped. But she didn’t want to play.  After a week and a half, she seemed normal again.”

Jose kept Joy out of the backyard and always had her on a leash when he took her outside.  She wore a cone for a month, he said.

Joy was special to Jose because she helped him with his daughter, who is now 13.  The three of them often went hiking together. But the dog is no longer with Jose. He moved to Ontario and did not have space for her. So he asked a friend to take her. Now he lives in an apartment near Los Angeles International Airport and not far from the grocery store where he works.

He misses Joy but does not expect to take in another dog soon. She would be hard to replace, he said. She still has a special place in his heart and he is grateful that Angel Fund and the staff at All Pets made it possible to fix her problems.

Angel Fund Aid Helps give Rescued Dog a New Life

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Mickey AugAFIn December, 2014, Lisa Marie Sirko, who had gone to the Downey Animal Shelter to check out another dog, saw Mickey for the first time. Though he was emaciated and sick, she was impressed: “I saw this Rottweiler-Pit Bull head and a little short stubby body and I said: ‘Oh my gosh, what an amazingly adorable dog! What is he doing here?’

“So I had to get him out [of the shelter]. When I got him home and started feeding him, he ate pretty well.  But then he started vomiting. And he had diarrhea really bad and I there was blood.  So I took him to Lomita Pet Hospital and Dr. Sandra Kim.”

Mickey defecated part of a child’s stuffed animal that he had ingested – and it was nearly the size of his stomach. The hospital did surgery to remove other remnants of the toy that might be in his stomach or intestines.  Lisa Marie and Dr. Kim decided that Mickey probably had been very hungry and swallowed the stuffed toy in a search for food. “When people leave a dog in a fenced-in yard and don’t feed him, he will try to find something to eat. He was starving and ate that stuffed animal,” Lisa Marie said.

A few weeks after Mickey’s surgery, Lisa Marie put him in the back seat of her car. As she drove, a cat ran across the street and Mickey jumped up on the armrest near the side window. “His little legs hit the window button and the window started going down. I couldn’t roll it up because his foot was on the remote in the back seat. I pulled over and he jumped out of the window and his right rear foot hit the curb and fractured.  “I was overwhelmed with guilt. But I got him back in the car and took him to Dr. Kim.”

The veterinarian did surgery on the leg and put it in a cast. Lisa Marie, who had a small employment talent search company at the time, was struggling to make money in an economy in which companies were down-sizing and her rates had been discounted. (She later shut down the company to devote full time to saving dogs that she sees as discriminated-against breeds: Pit Bull, Rottweiler and Mastiff). She applied to Angel Fund for assistance.  She got help – for which she was grateful – from both Angel Fund and Lomita Pet Hospital.

Today, Mickey is doing well.  But, after two years of healing and rehab, Lisa Marie gave him to a new friend. “I wanted to keep him but I came across somebody who had lost his dog, who looked almost exactly like Mickey. He fell in love with Mickey. And I thought Mickey could fill his broken heart – which he did – and get all the attention in the world.  I still see him.  He’s my little step boy. But he’s No. 1 in somebody else’s life now.”

And Lisa Marie is working hard at finding, rescuing and rehabilitating discriminated-against dogs. It is work of passion and love for her. “Now I’m building a little team and I’m starting to plan a nonprofit to help these dogs. It’s hard being a one-woman show.  I don’t spend money on myself and I get some income from helping people train their dogs. And animal lovers will ask if they can donate to help the dogs. We get surprised by gifts such as a bag of dog food or a doggie bed. And it all makes a huge difference.

“I keep it small. I’ll usually have just three or four dogs. They’re healthy, they’re well fed and exercised. And they know the basic commands. More than half the dogs I have saved are therapy dogs, some with service certification.

“I always do what’s best for the animal. And I like quality over quantity.” Lisa Marie works out of her home in San Pedro.

Angel Fund Helps Walter Regain His Health After GDV Surgery

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

July.AF jul. AFIn January, 2015, Walter – a beautiful Airdale mix – got a bloated stomach and collapsed outside his owners’ apartment in Acton.  He was rushed to an emergency hospital.

“They said if we hadn’t gotten there within the next few minutes, he wouldn’t be with us any more,” Shneor Nodelman said. “If we had come 10 minutes later, they couldn’t have saved him. We got lucky on that one.”

Walter had Gastric Dilation-Volvulus.  Surgery was performed to correct the condition and Walter later went home with Shneor and his wife, Nancy.  “He surprised the doctors and recovered very fast,” Shneor said.  But a week later, Walter was back in the hospital.

“I don’t know what happened,” Shneor said. “After we took him home, he started to have pain and he was licking the incision.” He had developed an infection and new surgery was needed.  Dr. Katherine Schmidt at AV Veterinary Center in Lancaster performed the operation. “They had to clean him up and then stitch him up again,” Shneor said.

But the Nodelmans did not have the money to pay the new bills. Shneor is an electrician, who works part time, and Nancy works in real estate but does not make much money. The Nodelmans came to the United States nearly 15 years ago, emigrating from Israel. Shneor has a sister who lives in Los Angeles and has been in this country since 1994. He and Nancy would have come sooner, he said, but he had to fulfill his military obligation before the Israeli government would permit him to leave. “It’s a lot nicer here than it is in Israel now,” he said.

The hospital recommended Angel Fund. “They were really nice,” Shneor recalled, “very helpful and understanding. We also got some money to help from other sources.” Angel Fund contributed $442, as did the hospital.

The Nodelmans are grateful to Angel Fund, the hospital and other donors for the funds that helped make Walter whole again. “He is fine now,” Shneor said. “He gained back the weight he lost and he is happy, wagging his tail all the time. He’s a good and very happy dog.”

Angel Fund Teams Up With Clinic to Save Pit Bull Named Mitch

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

MitchOne morning in March last year, as Ruben Gonzalez walked out into his Inglewood yard to get into his car, he saw that something was wrong with Mitch, his Pit Bull.

“He wasn’t himself. He started vomiting. And he was real stiff,” Ruben said. “Normally, he plays around the yard with my other dog, Brandy. And as soon as I step into my yard, he normally runs toward me. On that day, he just was not himself. He wouldn’t budge. So I put him in my car and drove to the emergency hospital. It was 7 o’clock in the morning and I was real concerned.”

Later that morning, Ruben and Mitch were at the Family Pet Clinic in Redondo Beach, a hospital with which he and his wife, Jennifer, have had a long relationship. Dr. Kimberly Daffner soon discovered that Mitch had a blockage – a piece of wood that was lodged in the duodenum. The doctor surgically removed the wood, Ruben said, “but Mitch was still throwing up and wasn’t recovering the way they expected so they did another surgery and removed a wad of grass from his stomach.”

Dr. Daffner told Ruben that Mitch needed to be neutered.  He also needed dental work, including pulling an infected tooth. “I told her I didn’t have the money to say yes, as much as I wanted to.  And she said, ‘You know something? We’ll work it out.’

“I was really strapped for cash,” Ruben said. “I was on disability leave because I had gotten hurt at work [he is a painter]. My CareCredit card was pretty much maxed out because of bills when my cat had gotten sick and died a couple of months earlier. My wife’s CareCredit, same thing.  And she was the only one who was working. The last thing I wanted to do was to put my dog down. But I didn’t have the money to cover the bill. I was hoping to make monthly payments but they told me they don’t really do that.”

The staff at the clinic suggested Angel Fund.  Ruben applied and was granted $500. The hospital contributed $1,800. He is grateful to Angel Fund and to the people at the Family Pet Clinic. “Everyone was great,” he said. “They went above and beyond for my family and my dog.” One technician – Erica, he said – took Mitch home with her to keep an eye on the dog for a couple of days when Ruben couldn’t do it.

Today Mitch, at five or six years old, is very much the dog he used to be, Ruben said. “He’s running around, doing great, enjoying life.” Ruben checks the yard daily for objects that a dog might want to chew.  He is working full time now but has a long commute. Wife Jennifer works in the fashion industry. The family includes her two daughters from a previous marriage, 17-year-old Rosemary and Mia, 11.

“I take Mitch and Brandy to the clinic about once a month, now, and Mitch always knows exactly where he is going,” Ruben said.  “As soon as we pull into the driveway, his tail is wagging.  As soon as I open the door, he jumps out of the car and can’t wait to get inside.  Everyone gives him a big greeting.  He loves it.

“I am so thankful to Dr. Daffner and everyone in the office. Without them, I’m pretty sure my dog wouldn’t have made it.”

Freako the Iguana Has Bladder Stones Removed

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Freako Up CloseThanks to Dr. Zambrano of Zambrano Consulting Mobile Service for applying for an Angel Fund Grant.

The grant helped the Carlson family afford surgery to remove bladder stones from their pet Iguana, Freako.

Get well soon, Freako

 

Attacked by 3 Dogs, Lucy Is Rescued by Angel Fund

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

 

May AF LucyA week and a half before Christmas in 2014, Mary Parmer and her son Bill were in her Apple Valley home when there was a sudden eruption of noise outside – barking, snarling and shrieking.

They quickly investigated and discovered their two small dogs – a Corgi mix named Lucy and a Chihuahua mix named Lady under attack by three large dogs in the yard next door.

Before the three large dogs, including a Boxer mix and a Pit Bull mix, could be chased away from the smaller dogs, Lady was dead and Lucy had suffered severe lacerations.

“We didn’t have a car here, so Bill ran to a neighbor’s house and asked them to take us to the vet.  Lucy was ripped open in several places. She had surgery and was in [Bear Valley Animal] hospital several days, then she came home. But she had to go back for more surgery a week later. And she had to go back for more treatment after that.”

Mary is a retired widow who worked part-time for 25 years at Victor Valley College and Bill had been laid off from a maintenance job there so there was little money to pay Lucy’s bills.  The hospital suggested Angel Fund, which stepped in with $500, a sum matched by the hospital. Mary is grateful for the assistance that saved her pet’s life. A daughter helped her with subsequent veterinary bills.

Lucy still shows signs of the trauma she suffered.  Now about two years old, “she has good days and bad days and every now and then you can tell that her wounds still bother her,” Mary said. “She has trouble jumping. She is usually a very active dog and sometimes she gets real still and doesn’t have much energy.”

Before the attacks, Lucy slept on her bed, Mary said.  Since Lucy could not jump up on the bed during her recovery, Mary made herself a bed on the floor and slept there with Lucy for a few weeks after her surgery.

For a long time after the attacks, Mary said, Lucy would go out in the yard and look for Lady. “She missed her so much.  So we went out and got her another pal. They have a great time together.” The new dog is Crystal, also a Chihuahua mix.

Lucy came to Mary’s house originally when a friend found her at the side of the road not far away.  “She couldn’t keep her so we took her in. We checked with animal control and people in the neighborhood but no one claimed her.” That was about six months before the attack by the neighbor’s dogs.

The two yards are separated by a wooden fence. “I don’t know how our dogs got into their yard. I think the big dogs dragged them through the fence,” Mary said. The three large dogs still live next door, although all is now peaceful.

Angel Fund Helps Rescue Sabrina, a Bossy Feline

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

sick brinaAbout three years ago, Julie Waters found a young female cat she named Sabrina alone in a parking lot. “She was a stray and she was tiny,” Julie recalled. “But ever since she came into my house – she was just a couple of months old – she has been in charge. I have another cat and big dog but Sabrina is the boss.”

In December, 2014, more than a year after finding the kitten, Julie noticed that the usually high energy Sabrina was lethargic. “She wasn’t interacting with the other pets. She was just laying around a lot. I thought maybe she was sick but I didn’t think it was anything serious.  One of my friends saw her after a week and she said, ‘She doesn’t look good. You should take her to the vet.’ I was thinking the same thing. Sabrina wasn’t getting any better. So I took her in and it was like, oh no, this is really bad!”

Julie took her cat to Redwood Animal Hospital in Redondo Beach not far from her home.  Dr. Veronica Pirotto examined Sabrina and found “a mass of some sort. Sabrina was very uncomfortable when she was touched in the abdomen.  Two days later, they did exploratory surgery. They called me while she was still on the table and said that they needed to send her to a specialist. She was going septic. All the tissue around her organs was infected and there was some leakage into her kidney. If she doesn’t have surgery to remove the infected tissue she is going to die of kidney failure, the doctor said.”

Julie took Sabrina home with medications to keep the infection at bay and made an appointment with Dr. Mary Somerville at Animal Specialty and Emergency Center, also in Redondo Beach.

Dr. Somerville performed surgery to remove the infected tissue. “But she called me and said that Sabrina needed a second surgery to removed one of her kidneys. Dr. Somerville quoted me a price of $3,500 for the first surgery and the hospital stay. And with the second surgery and longer stay, it was going to more like $5,500. But she honored the original quote. She was really wonderful.”

At the time, Julie had just earned a graduate degree at Cal State Dominguez Hills and had begun the 3,000 hours of practical work needed to qualify for a license as a marriage and family counselor. She is self supporting and had little income. She did not know how she could pay for the surgery. “It was very scary,” she said. “My cat was just a year and a half old. She is not supposed to be dying of kidney failure. And I was like, I can’t afford this [second surgery].  I could barely afford the exploratory surgery.”

The doctors and staff at Redwood told Julie about Angel Fund and helped her apply. They also told her about other foundations that might help.  And, she said, they provided her with free services.  “I am very thankful to them and to Angel Fund because that whole time was so stressful. My grandmother passed away in surgery a week before Sabrina had her surgery and that whole time just feels like a blur.” Julie now has her counseling license and is launched on her career.

And Sabrina still runs the house. “She has so much energy,” Julie said. “She is totally the boss of the house again. . . . She is a hussy.  That’s what she is.”

 

Tarzan Recovers From Encounter With Car, Thanks to Angel Fund

Friday, April 8th, 2016

 

On an August morning in 2014, Robin – a writer and editor who lives in West Los Angeles – heard a cat crying in her courtyard.  “He was yelping and he was really upset. He just kept crying and crying,” she said, “and his mouth looked swollen.”

Robin, who asked that her last name not be used, recognized Tarzan, a friendly cat who lived outdoors in the neighborhood after his owner died. eH “At first I thought he had an abscessed tooth. I could see he was in pain. . . . So I took him inside and started researching veterinarians on the internet.”

Robin took Tarzan to the Westchester Veterinary Center and Cat Clinic. “When I got there, I explained that I was not Tarzan’s owner and that I was just a concerned animal lover. The staff . . . was really friendly and concerned about the cat,” she said.

A staff veterinarian said Tarzan’s jaw was shattered and that he needed surgery. She said that he probably had been hit by a car.

“I sat inside the exam room with Tarzan and I was massaging him and talking to him and the [clinic] staff was talking about what to do.  Someone came in after a while and said that I could apply to Angel Fund for Tarzan’s surgery. I said I was willing to chip in $150. Angel Fund and the clinic paid the rest.”

Robin and Tarzan Feb 2016Dr. Henry Yoo, owner of the clinic, did the surgery. “He did an amazing job with Tarzan,” Robin said. “There were a couple of months of feeding him with a turkey baster and going to the clinic regularly for follow-up appointments. The people at the clinic were always friendly and helpful.”

The time she spent caring for Tarzan had an impact on Robin.  “After a couple of months,” she said, “I got very close to him. And I didn’t want him going back outside. It’s healthier for cats indoors [where they’re unlikely to pick up diseases] and there are no cat fights.  And I certainly didn’t want him to get hit by a car again. So I just had to adopt him.”

And, she said, “without Angel Fund, who knows what would have happened to him. He might have been put down. I really think that the clinic and Angel Fund saved his life.”

Today, she said, you can’t tell he had surgery. “He’s a special cat. He eats normally and has a good appetite. He has a lot of energy. He’s very clean and he was always really friendly. One day I woke up and he was lying there beside me.” She thinks Tarzan is “teen or pre-teen” in age.

Are she and Tarzan living happily ever after? “He is.  I am.”

Are you doing it together. “Exactly.”