Archive for the ‘Angel Fund Grant Recipients’ Category

Unable to Pay for Dog’s Surgery, Family Gets Help from Angel Fund

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

BLUEIn November, 2014, the Montoya family’s dog Blue was having problems.  “He was showing signs for about a week,” Vera Montoya said.  “He lost his appetite and stopped eating.  I thought he might have eaten some of the kids’ Halloween candy. But then he didn’t eat for two days and he had a fever. Then he had a seizure. “

Mrs. Montoya, who was not working at the time, said that she didn’t have pet insurance and not much money to spend.  “I felt kind of helpless.  I didn’t want to take him to the hospital, knowing I didn’t have any way to pay for it.  I didn’t know then that there were places that offer people financial aid in those situations.”

But Blue, a pitbull, was shaking and feverish.  So she took him to an emergency hospital near her home in Santa Ana. “They took x-rays and found a small piece of metal that had punctured his intestine. And they told me that he needed emergency surgery.”

Vera told the doctor that she could not pay a surgical bill. He told her he would not do the surgeryH and he gave her the names of hospitals that he thought could help. The next day, she took Blue to one of the hospitals. The doctor said he could not do the surgery without payment and wanted $70 for the consultation.  “It was kind of hard right there,” she said.

In the meantime, she had gotten a call from one of the other hospitals – Mesa West Pet Hospital in Costa Mesa. “They said that they could treat Blue. So we rushed right over there.  The doctor took him in to emergency surgery and she did what she could for him.  She found a piece of metal and we tried to figure out what it was.  After careful consideration, I think it was from a spiked collar we had bought for him but never used. It was hanging on a door knob and one of the spikes was missing. He loved to chew on anything he could get ahold of and we think he chewed on the collar and swallowed it.”

The hospital suggested seeking Angel Fund help. Vera filled out the forms and was granted nearly $500 in assistance. She is grateful for the help that gave Blue a chance to live.

The hospital did not have 24-hour staffing so Vera was told that she should take Blue home at night and bring him back in the morning. “The first night, we brought him home on a gurney because he was heavily medicated. . . . He woke up at 4 a.m. and I offered him some water but he didn’t want a drink. The next morning he seemed to have bounced back – very resilient. He seemed almost himself but he was weak. We took him to the clinic and he looked at me like he didn’t want me to leave him.  I was planning to pick him up and bring him home later that afternoon.

“But at 2 o’clock I got a call from the clinic. The doctor said: ‘He didn’t make it.’ She said he had had a seizure and didn’t survive.”

Today the Montoya family has another dog, a Rottweiler-pit bull mix. “We got the dog because my five children were so heart broken. We mourned for several weeks and it just seemed like we couldn’t get past it. We’d never had to deal with death before and it was so hard. I got the new dog to try to help us recover.  It’s still a very hard thing to discuss.

“Blue slept in my oldest daughter’s bed.  He was close with the entire family.  When I was pregnant with my two-year-old, he knew it and when I came home from the hospital, he was very welcoming of the baby.”

Vera now is employed in a medical office and her husband, Bladimir, works in maintenance and as a janitor. Their five children range in age from 2 to 20.

“In my culture we celebrate Day of the Dead,” Vera said. “So it was ironic that it was on November first [when Pulse initially contacted her]. And I thought it was really surprising because I was doing the best I could to remember Blue – all the wonderful things about him.”

Goofy Gets Help from the Angel Fund and Tustin Santa Ana Veterinary Hospital

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Goofy GutierrezGoofy’s owner is homeless and Goofy is the only family she has:  “…he is my son and the other half of my soul…”  When Goofy was attacked by a German Shepherd while on a walk with his owner, she didn’t know how she was going to pay for the needed veterinary care for Goofy.  Thanks to Drs. Weatherford and Toro at the Tustin Santa Ana Veterinary Hospital applying for an ANGEL FUND Grant from the AHF, Goofy is recovering from his wounds!

Angel Fund Helps Angus

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Thank you Lomita Pet Hospital for applying for an Angel Fund Grant to help Angus!Photo of Angus IMG_0250

Angel Fund Helps Junior Defeat Rapidly Growing Bone Fungus

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

YassminYassmin Flores has a very special relationship with Junior, her German Shepherd.  “He is my baby, my little boy,” she said.  “I don’t have children and he’s like my child.”

So it was a shock in the summer of 2014, when she noticed a growth on one of his toes. It was not cancerous, Dr. Howard Brown at Pet Vet Animal Hospital in Canoga Park told her after a biopsy.  But it was a dangerous fungus that had grown quickly and needed to be removed quickly.

“It was in the bone and it was eating his toe,” Yassmin said. “You could see it growing.  You could see the bone. It just kept growing and growing.”

Yassmin took Junior to Dr. Brown within a week or two of the moment she first saw the fungus. “The funny part was,” she said, “ that a couple of weeks before I first noticed it, I had taken him in to get his toenails trimmed and there was nothing there.  They didn’t see anything.

“Dr. Brown said that we needed to take care of this quickly because it could just keep growing and spreading and it could go all the way to Junior’s leg and could mean eventually having to amputate his leg.”

Yassmin, who lives in Tarzana, works part time at an auction house and she could not afford the cost of the surgery to remove the affected toe. The staff at Pet Vet suggested that she apply to Angel Fund for help. She did and quickly qualified for assistance. Angel Fund and the hospital each contributed $500 toward the surgery bill.

“I thank them so much,” Yassmin said. “They’re wonderful and they’re awesome!  It’s nice that someone is there who cares so much [as Angel Fund does].”

Today, more than a year later, Junior is much as he was before, although Yassmin said that he is calmer than he used to be and seems to tire more easily.  “He doesn’t jump like he used to,” she said, “and you can tell that he sometimes has pain.  I give him doggy aspirin and that helps.”

Junior is now 11 years old and Yassmin is grateful to the staff at Pet Vet and to Angel Fund that he is healthy again.

 

Angel Fund Helps Beautiful, Pregnant Boots

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

 

Boots and the Holy Spirit 009Last Spring, Scott and Barbara Peterson had a visitor to their Tustin apartment – a beautiful black and white cat who was affectionate and loving.  The animal – they named her Boots because of her white paws – soon became a part of the family.

But after a few weeks they realized that Boots was putting on weight, that she was pregnant.

When the time came for Boots to deliver her litter, it quickly became clear that something was wrong.  She was in extreme discomfort and seemed unable to give birth.  Scott searched the internet and found a website which suggested that a mother cat who was in labor for five hours should be taken to the hospital.  He went back to the internet to look for a nearby veterinarian and decided to take Boots to Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Tustin not far from their home.

There Dr. Diane Craig performed a cesarean section and delivered two kittens. She told Scott and Barbara that one of the kittens was simply too big to be delivered by a normal birth.

Scott, a retired electrician, did not have the financial resources to pay the hospital and surgery bills. He applied for an Angel Fund grant and was approved for $500, an amount that the clinic matched. He and Barbara are grateful for the help they received and the care Boots was given.

Today, Boots, who was spayed when her kittens were delivered, is an indoor cat.  One of the kittens still lives with the Petersons.  “She [Boots] is really pretty.  She’s black with white paws and a white tuxedo look,” Scott said.  And she is healthy and happy. He    e H

“I thought it was miraculous that she came to us when she was pregnant,” he said. “If she hadn’t done that, she probably wouldn’t have survived.  She just walked in the door. We didn’t realize she was pregnant at first.  But if she hadn’t come to us, she would not have lived.”

Did she have some inkling that she might need help? “I don’t know,” Scott said.  “Maybe somebody else sent her our way.  Maybe somebody from above.”

Martha and Angel Fund Save Tuminous, a Very Social Cat

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

 

MagicSome five years ago, Martha Slater was working in her garden, happily weeding and troweling.  Suddenly, she said, “here is this little black kitten. He came up and spent the entire day with me, sitting and watching me in a very companionable way. I brought him some food and water and, in the evening when I went in, he stayed, sleeping on the couch on our deck. Our two cats looked at him [through the window] and he looked at them.”

During the next week, the kitten continued to spend a lot of time with Martha. So she decided that she should find out where he had come from. “It turned out that he lived two houses away from us. I knocked on their door and introduced myself. One of the kids in the family came over and picked up Magic [the kitten’s name] and he seemed very happy to go home.

But, she said, Magic continued to spend a lot of time at her house. And she discovered that other people in the neighborhood also knew him, including her upstairs neighbors, Cameo and Misheda, who weren’t cat people until they met him.  “He did a lot of visiting. He loves children. He loves other cats.  But he doesn’t love dogs,” she said. “At 8 o’clock in the morning you’d see him with his tail high escorting kids to school. When the kids came home at the end of the day, there he’d be walking them back home.”

Martha started calling the kitten Bituminous and her husband Rob shortened it to Tuminous.

One day, the kitten appeared to have an eye infection and Martha alerted the family. “They said, ‘We don’t know what to do.’ So I went to the pharmacy and got some eye wash and irrigated his eyes. I didn’t mind because he is such a sweet compliant fellow.”

Later, the cat showed up at her house and was unable to use one of his legs. “I thought he might have fallen but I didn’t think anything was broken. I suggested to the family that he needed to go to a veterinarian. They said they didn’t have the time for that. I suggested they keep him in because I didn’t think he could get away if a coyote came after him.” The family put the cat in a guest bathroom, Martha said – but he was back at her house in a couple of hours. He stayed with her for a couple of days until he was better.

Last spring, Tuminous showed up at Martha’s house one morning clearly sick. “He was dribbling urine and it was bloody.  He was so uncomfortable and it seemed like a urinary blockage. We’ve had that with our cats before.  So I called his people.  I said he is suffering and he really needs to go to the vet. One of the children called the father and asked him could come take the cat. So I wrapped him in a blanket. When I talked to the father, he said: ‘I don’t want him bleeding all over my white leather [car] seats.’ They took him to the vet but they wouldn’t leave him overnight. . . . He came to my house soon after that and he was in such pain and so sick. I called the family but the father was ‘too busy’ to return my call.

“So I called Dr. [Gary] Gauthier and he said to throw him in the car and bring him in [to Arch Beach Veterinary Clinic in Laguna Beach]. It was 8 or 9 o’clock.  He needed hydrating and he needed surgery.  When the father found out, he called Dr. Gauthier and said: ‘Well, just put him to sleep. This is costing too much.’ I told the doctor that I didn’t care what it would cost.  We can pay over a period of time.” Her husband was running a tech startup, she said, and they did not have much money at the time.

So Tuminous had his surgery. Several neighbors who knew the social black cat contributed money to help pay the bill.  And Dr. Gauthier suggested that help might be available from Angel Fund.  Martha filled out an application and her request was granted. Angel Fund and the clinic each contributed $500.

Today Tuminous is his old social self.  His former family is gone. He has many good human friends and he can sleep and eat with several of them. “He’s very healthy. He’s amazing.  He’s sleek and long.  And he’s spoiled rotten,” Martha said.

 

With Help From Angel Fund, Nichole Saves Her Shih Tzu, Sally

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

 

Pulse Nicole-SallyOne morning late in January, 2013, Nichole Castaneda, was on her way to work.  She heard a dog barking across the street. It was a small dog – a Shih Tzu – and it was alone.  Nichole called to the dog and it ran across the street.

“It almost got hit by a car,” she said. ”I was wearing a sweater with a drawstring so I took out the drawstring and tied it around the dog.  Then I took it to the 7-11 that is next to my work” at a Weinerschnitzel fast food restaurant.  She asked a clerk at the 7-11 if she knew the owner of the dog.  The answer was no.  But the clerk said that a coworker might want to take in the animal. The coworker took it home.  But the dog’s barking annoyed his neighbors.  The next day, the dog was returned to Nichole at the Weinerschnitzel.  She put the dog in a shopping cart with a bowl of water and placed cardboard over the top.

“When I got off work, I took her home. She was urinating blood so I took her to an animal hospital.  They took x-rays.  She had no microchip. She had two ear infections. She had a bladder infection and three big bladder stones. She needed antibiotics and ear medication and they set up an appointment to do surgery for the bladder stones.”

By this time, Nichole and the dog – she named it Sally after a character in the movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” – had become fond companions. The surgery would cost more than $5,000, Nichole was told, far more than she could afford on her modest income.

“What I did was I went online to Giveforward.com and set up an account where people could donate money toward Sally’s surgery,” she said.  She also posted an account of Sally’s adventures on her Facebook page.  Both brought contributions.  She also found Angel Fund online and submitted an application, which was approved.

“Angel Fund was awesome,” Nichole said.  “I really appreciated their help – a lot. And the same with the hospital and the Giveforward people. And everyone else who helped.” The surgery was performed at Veterinary Healthcare Center in Monterey Park in December, 2013. Angel Fund and the hospital each contributed $500.

Today, Sally is thriving at about seven years of age. “Sally is not afraid of anyone. She is friendly with other animals, children, old people. She is not afraid of fireworks, either,” Nichole said.

And the Shih Tzu gets lots of tender, loving care from Nichole and her 14-year-old daughter, Mary Lou. They live with Nichole’s dad and his second family in Rosemead. There are three other dogs, two cats and several children in the household – a great home for a friendly dog like Sally.

Bulldog Gets Knee Surgery With Help From AHF Angel Fund

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Hades 1In January, 2014, Juli Bill was struggling to make ends meet. She was a nursing student at Long Beach State and paid the family bills with a part-time job at Disneyland and child support payments. Juli has two children – an 18-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son. An animal person, she has two dogs – an American Bulldog and a Weimaraner – and a horse that is boarded in Whittier.

So it was not welcome news when she learned that Hades, HHa 130-pound bulldog, needed knee surgery.

“I noticed that he was having some issues standing up in the morning when I took him outside,” she said in an interview. “I thought at first that he was just a little stiff. But when he had to go out in the middle of the night and he couldn’t get up and started dragging his rear end – that really concerned me. That’s when I took him to the vet.”

She went to Los Alamitos Animal Hospital. “It was actually both of his knees,” she said. “We did one and now we have to do the other.” But that first cruciate repair surgery was more than Juli’s budget could handle. Her daughter was about to graduate from high school and there were extra bills to pay. She set up a website about Hades and got about $1,000 in donations from friends “and a lot of different people.”

Dr. Claudia Horvath, the hospital’s medical director, told Juli about Angel Fund. “If it weren’t for them (Angel Fund), I don’t know what I would have done,” she said. “There was no way I could afford the surgery on my own.” Angel Fund and the hospital each contributed $500. The staff at the hospital, Juli said, was fantastic. “They did everything for me. Everyone was so helpful and informative.”

After the surgery, she said, Hades had to be sedated before she could take him home to her house in Lakewood. Today, he is a happy dog – but he limps because the other knee is still unrepaired.

Juli is now planning his second surgery. She put her nursing education on hold and has left her Disneyland job, which paid just a bit more than minimum wage, for a full-time job at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. “It’s a good job. I have fun there, although it’s not my calling,” she said. But it pays the bills and she has been saving for Hades second surgery. She will do it when she can take vacation time so she’ll be at home during the initial stages of his recovery.

Peatree’s Problems Solved with the Help from AHF’s Angel Fund

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Peatree1In June, 2013, Rebecca Martinez noticed a small dog running in the middle of the street near her Glendora home. “I tried to get her for a day and a half and I finally got two of my girl friends to come over and we were able to catch her,” she said in an interview.

“We took her to a local animal shelter. And we posted pictures of her and tried to find her owner. After a few days, the people at the shelter said it would be best if we took her home because she had a heart condition. If we had left her there, they would have had to put her to sleep. So we took her home.”

And, she said, “we tried to adopt her out but nobody wanted her with that [heart] issue. So we took her to a few different veterinarians and then we took her to a cardiologist to see exactly what was wrong. It’s been a long road.”

Through all this, the dog the family named Peatree was stealing the hearts of Rebecca, husband Jose and their two children. “Oh, yeah, I was attached to her already,” Rebecca said, “I just didn’t want to admit it.” The five-pound Chihuahua mix was one to three years old at the time, veterinarians said.

“I’m always picking up animals and I never had a problem finding an owner or being able to help a dog get adopted out,” Rebecca said. “And this was the only one I’ve ever been stuck with. And we love her to death! She came to us for a reason. She knew we weren’t going to let anything bad happen to her.”

There were a couple of surprises in store, however. “When we picked her up, we didn’t know that she was pregnant. So we couldn’t do the surgery she needed for her heart. And there was another catch: when she had x-rays to see how many puppies there were – the veterinarian could only see two but there were three – she had a shattered pelvic bone, either from being kicked or hit or some traumatic injury and she could not have a natural puppy birth. She would have to have a C-section.”

Peatree had a congenital heart defect, left-to-right shunting PDA, but Rebecca and Jose, who works for a wire money transfer firm, have not been able to afford the surgery. The cost was $5,000, she was told. But Peatree is now four or five years old and is doing well. Two of her puppies are part of the family and the third one lives next door. “They’re all healthy and happy,” Rebecca said.

She was told about Angel Fund by a friend of a friend, who runs an animal rescue center. “We maxed out two credit cards just for having the C-section and the after care,” Rebecca said.

Angel Fund and Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Lawndale, where the Martinez family had taken Peatree to see a cardiologist, each contributed $500 to help defray the mounting costs.

“The foundation was so helpful,” Rebecca recalled. If we hadn’t had that help, we wouldn’t have been able to make the right choice for Peatree. I am so appreciative.”

Tustin Santa Ana Veterinary Hospital Helps Koko

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Koko IMG_2788 (2)Thanks for Dr. Weatherford and Dr. Toro of the Tustin Santa Ana Veterinary Hospital for applying for the AHF Angel Fund grant to help 20 week old Koko’s family pay for critical diagnosis and care.