Archive for the ‘Angel Fund Grant Recipients’ Category

Angel Fund Enables Dental Surgery for Beautiful Tess

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Tess AFIn the summer of 2013, Tess – Rochelle Bates’ beautiful black and white cat – was no longer easy to be around. “When she opened her mouth across the room from you, the odor could just about knock you down,” she said. “It was intense. And it had developed very quickly over a couple of months.”

Rochelle and husband Ed had taken in Tess when she was a feral kitten. She soon became a loved member of their household. So Rochelle took the cat, just four years old, to a dental cleaning clinic at a pet store. The veterinarian who examined Tess “took one look inside her mouth and he told me what was wrong. He said: ‘All her teeth are rotting. You’re going to need to take her to a veterinary dentist.’ It’s a congenital condition.”

Rochelle, a former writer and producer in Hollywood, is disabled and her husband Ed was unemployed at the time so she immediately began to search for a dental specialist who could give Tess the treatment she needed – surgery for tooth resorption and stomatitis – at an affordable cost. “It was a rough time for this to happen,” she said.

“I called around to lots of veterinary clinics and found that the treatment was just too expensive. It was thousands of dollars to have all her teeth removed – or some of her teeth removed. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. So I looked on line for different grants and explored every one that was available – every single one.” Finally, she found Angel Fund. “It was the only one left. And it was the one that helped us.” Angel Fund provided a list of hospitals that could do the surgery. She chose the Dog and Cat Dentist in Culver City not far from her home.

She took Tess to the clinic and met Dr. Anson Tsugawa, VMD, DAVDC, and Jody Janes, RVT. “They were just the most wonderful people,” she said. “Jody is so kind. She shepherded all the paper work through and it was processed very quickly. There was a small balance that I had to pay. But they [Angel Fund and the hospital] covered almost everything. It was so amazingly generous of them!” Angel Fund and the hospital each contributed $500.

Dr. Tsugawa at first thought that he could save four of Tess’s teeth. But he called Rochelle after her cat was under anesthesia and said that all her teeth should be extracted. “Otherwise,” he told her, “she’ll have to come back and have the others removed later. We might as well do all of them when she’s young and healthy.”

The surgery “made a world of difference,” Rochelle said. “Tess had a very quick recovery and you would never know now that she doesn’t have any teeth. Dr. Tsugawa told us what would happen and that’s exactly what happened.”

Tess needed pain medication and antibiotics for a few days. Rochelle said that she gave the patient and her other two cats soft food at first, then switched to dry food. “Tess ate it with them [the other cats]. Now she eats a mixture of wet and dry food, like she always did before. She doesn’t care.”

The surgery has made a “world of difference” for Tess, she said. “Her personality has really blossomed since she doesn’t have that pain. I can only imagine what it was like for her.

“And I will always he so grateful to them [Dr. Tsugawa and Angel Fund] for this because, honestly, I don’t know what we would have done.”

Mickey Gets Help from AHF Angel Fund

Friday, February 6th, 2015

MickyThanks to the doctors and staff of the Lomita Animal Hospital, Mickey’s family could afford the fracture surgery he needed because the hospital reached out to the Angel Fund for a grant.

And, now, he’s a happy boy!

Angel Fund Helps Rescue Pet Owner on Disability

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Mocha AF McDadeWhen Nancy McDade learned late in 2013, that Mocha – her four-year-old chocolate Labrador – needed surgery, she knew what she needed to do.

The former merchant teller at a bank was unemployed and living on disability payments and she immediately set to work to find ways to pay for an operation that was well beyond her means. “I wanted to do everything I could for my dog but money was definitely a factor because I didn’t have any for this. I contacted several agencies that help provide funding and the veterinarian [Dr. Sean Kay of Macy & Thomas Veterinary Hospital in Whittier] suggested Angel Fund.

“Dr. Kay is a generous and caring person,” she said. “He knew I didn’t have a lot of money and he discounted some of the services he had control over. But the surgeon who would come in expected full payment.”

The staff at Macy & Thomas helped Nancy with an Angel Fund application. And Dr. Kay, from the very beginning, told her: “We’ll just assume you’re going to get it.” She did. Angel Fund provided $500 and Macy & Thomas helped with $500 more. Her other efforts raised $700 to $900 from about half a dozen agencies.

Nancy had first noticed Mocha favoring her right rear leg and limping. So she took her to see Dr. Kay. An x-ray showed a torn anterior cruciate ligament. “It was torn but not fully detached and they tried doing laser treatments to see if it would heal. But it was torn too badly.” She was given the option of doing nothing. But that could have led eventually to amputation and it could have caused problems in the leg on the left side.

So, Nancy said, the choice was easy. “A bird should fly and a dog should run,” she said. “There was a beauty about Mocha, like a race horse, when she ran. She jumped over short little fences, like garden fences. There was beauty in the way she did it. And I wanted her to be able to do it again.”

So Mocha got the surgery. Depressed after five or six days in the hospital, she came home to recuperate. Under orders to keep her in a small space so she could heal, Nancy said she and son Jacob, who lives with her, “had barriers all over the front room. But at one point I took her back to the hospital because her leg was swollen and I was told that she was standing on it too much. She needed just enough space to stand up and turn around and we had been giving her too much.”

Mocha’s recovery took about four months. Today, she “is running around again like a crazy woman. She’s very happy. She’s a very well behaved dog and she is very protective of me. Nobody is allowed on my front porch – well, she thinks it’s her front porch. She follows me from room to room. Sometimes it’s like am I protecting you or are you protecting me? Because she’s always right next to me and fully alert.”

Nancy is grateful to Angel Fund, Macy & Thomas and the other donors. “They helped save my dog’s life – not that it was a life threatening condition. But this [surgery] gave her quality of life. . . . Wonderful!”

Angel Fund Gave Cosmo a Fighting Chance to Live

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Cosmo AFOn May 5, 2012 – Cinco de Mayo, Jessie Carrillo recalled – her cat gave birth to a litter of kittens. The next day, the mother died and Jessie raised the kittens. One of them was special.

“Cosmo was my favorite cat in the whole world. He was my best friend,” Jessie said. But Cosmo, who was gray and white, found something to eat that he shouldn’t have one day when he was outside not long after his first birthday. It was a cork and it lodged in his intestines, obstructing the duodenum.

“He was acting really bizarre. After a day and a half, I realized that he wasn’t going to get better and I took him in [to the Cat Care Clinic in Orange]. They did an x-ray and they saw the blockage.”

The doctor told Jessie that Cosmo was very sick but that surgery might save him – although he might not survive it. The operation would cost $2,000 – an amount far beyond her means. Jessie wanted to do whatever she could to save her cat. The doctor suggested that Angel Fund could help. So Jessie submitted an application for assistance. She was grateful for the $250 contributed by both Angel Fund and the Cat Care Clinic.

“It was a blessing that [Angel Fund] was there because I couldn’t afford the surgery,” she said. She was working as a receptionist at the time “but my job was not affording me $2,000 for surgery.”

After the surgery, she took Cosmo home but he soon died. “He was OK for a couple of hours but then he died in my arms. I was lucky to share that last moment with him but it was really rough. He could have been euthanized but they gave me hope that he might make it. I think the surgery was just too much for his body.”

Jessie is grateful to Angel Fund and to the doctors and staff at the Cat Care Clinic. “They were really understanding and sympathetic. They were kind and they did their best.”

Today, Jessie misses Cosmo very much. Losing him, she said, was “just part of life.” But she has his sister, a beautiful black cat named Boo, now 2½.

Nui was “Little Big Man” and Loving Companion

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Nui Angel Fund

Loucinda Carter described him as a “big little dog” the first time she saw the Chihuahua who would spend nearly 18 years as her companion animal.  “I named him Nui,” she said, because that is the Hawaiian word for big and I had just come back from Hawaii. He was really big [compared to his litter mates] but he was little. He was nui, nui.”

Nui, she said went everywhere with her.  “I’m disabled and he was my companion dog. He did everything with me, including going to the cancer treatment center at Cedars Sinai Hospital” in Los Angeles. (She lives in Dana Point.) “He was right there with me the whole time. He was my family. He was everything. I am a nurse but unfortunately am not able to work.”

And, she said, Nui never was trained to do tasks that would assist her – but he learned to help her anyway.  “My bones are all messed up from having to take steroids and I would reach into a drawer to try to get my things and he would see that I wasn’t able to pull something out – my arm won’t stretch out all the way – and he would jump in the drawer and grab something and bring it to me.  And then he’d jump in and grab the next thing.  And he’d jump up on tables and bring me things I couldn’t reach. He was so in tune with me.”

Nui and Loucinda lived together and loved each other for more than a decade and a half and then Nui got sick.  Loucinda had him treated and he recovered but she exhausted her limited resources to pay his bills.  When he fell ill a second time in March, 2013, she had little money to pay for his care. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it,” she said.  “It was really hard.”

Nui wasn’t eating right, she said, and he was sluggish and lethargic.  He also was shaking and having tremors.  She took him in the middle of the night to an emergency clinic, then to Laguna Beach Animal Hospital. He was treated for a kidney problem with antibiotics and a special diet.

“I prayed a whole lot and he did seem to get a lot better,” she said. “But the veterinarian (Dr. Jim Levin) said that he did not expect him to live much longer. I was hoping he’d be the longest living Chihuahua ever.”

Nui lived for the better part of a year – time that Loucinda cherished. She is grateful to Angel Fund and the staff at Laguna Beach Hospital for giving Nui that time.

Now she is thinking about getting another dog but, she said, “You never really can replace that one who’s been so special.”

Hit by Car, Husky Leia Lives, With Help From Angel Fund

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

leiaIn February last year, Claire Gallo was moving into a new apartment. Her 11-month-old Husky Leia, not much more than a puppy, was so spirited that she called a friend and arranged a play date so the dog would be safe while she moved. “I didn’t want her running out an open door,” she recalled in an interview.

So she dropped Leia off at her friend’s house and returned to her car. “My friend opened her back door to let her Pomeranian out and Leia ran after her. There was no fence and my friend ran after Leia. When you chase Huskies, they run away from you and, when you run away from them, they chase you. So I’m watching my friend chasing my dog right out onto a main street.

“Two cars going one direction stopped and one car going the other direction stopped and she [Leia] was in the middle. I thought everything was OK but then a car came along speeding 10 or maybe 15 miles over the limit and the driver didn’t see her. The car rammed right into her and it was the most devastating day of my life. Leia screamed like a human being.

“I was thinking, ‘What do I do?’ I I was running toward her and she dragged herself across the street toward me and stuck her nose between my feet and cried. I didn’t cry and I didn’t scream. I ran and got a blanket out of my car while my friend stayed with Leia and I wrapped her tightly and put her on my lap and drove to the closest emergency hospital – San Clemente Veterinary Hospital – about two miles away. I was covered with blood and she was covered with blood. Her leg seemed to be hanging by a tendon.

“I had opened a new credit card the day before and I just swiped it. It was my baby and I didn’t want anything to happen to her. But her injury was so extensive that they [the hospital staff] seemed to be preparing me to put her down. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I’d had her since she was seven weeks old. So I was devastated. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep.”

Claire was 18 at the time and a part-time student at Saddleback College. She had about $2,000 in savings that she gave to the hospital to help pay for Leia’s treatment – but the bill was going to be about $8,000. “I was working my butt off just to pay the rent,” she said.

Then Angel Fund stepped in. It contributed $1,000 and the hospital matched that figure. Claire’s mother had found Angel Fund on the internet and the hospital also recommended it. “Basically, Angel Fund saved my dog’s life,” Claire said.

Dr. John Agostini of the San Clemente hospital, did the surgery. He said that “there was so much destruction of the tarsal joint – the ankle joint – that it had to be fused. That is unusual. At the same time, there was an extensive amount of skin that was lost. So it turned into a team effort with Dr. Randall Fitch doing the fusion and I was the reconstructive guy, who put the skin back in place. We did some plastic surgery, probably the best way to describe it. Then there were months of status changing and rehab. The post operative ankle fusion had to have a rather extensive Kirschner-Ehmer apparatus put on it. It’s an array of pins [nine in this case] to keep it stable while the bones heal. We [he and Leia] got to know each other pretty well. She was in here several times a weeks and had another surgery.”

Leia is “amazing” today, Claire said. “I take her to the dog park and nobody can tell the difference. She runs like the wind. Every once in while you’ll notice her picking up her back leg because there’s so much muscle lost. She runs as fast on three legs as she ever did on four.” And, she said, when she takes Leia back to San Vicente Hospital, they say, ‘Hey, look, this is the dog!’ They all love to see her.”

Claire is planning to continue her education. She is still a student at Saddleback but she’s thinking of transferring to a Bay Area school. And, she said, “after this experience, honestly, I want to be a veterinarian. I want to be that person who gives joy to people who have an experience like I had. I can’t even believe the gifts that Dr. Agostini gave me.”

Tustin Santa Ana Veterinary Hospital Helps Marvel

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Marvel Tustin Santa AnaMeet Marvel.  He is doing wonderfully after Dr. Laura Weatherford of Tustin Santa Ana Veterinary Hospital performed surgery to remove a “foreign object” that Marvel ingested!  Dr. Weatherford received a grant on behalf of the family to defray some of the costs of Marvel’s life-saving surgery!  The family is very grateful for Dr. Weatherford’s and the Angel Fund’s help!

Aliso Niguel Animal Hospital helped Munchkin with an Angel Fund Grant

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Munchkin Aliso Niguel AH (2)

Pet Vet Animal Health Care helps JR

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

The AHF thanks Dr. Brown for applying for an Angel Fund Grant to help the Floris’ family’s dog – JR, who needed a toe amputated.  JR is recovering and back with his loving family!

JR

Angel Fund Helps Buster Overcome Plastic Blues

Monday, August 25th, 2014

buster2When Buster – Corinne Supernor’s beautiful black and white cat – got sick, it was because of an unusual appetite: he liked to chew plastic bags.

“Buster would go into the pantry and get ahold of sandwich baggies and chew at them,” she said. “We didn’t know what he was doing. Pretty much any plastic he could get his little paws on, he’d eat it. He liked the noise of it and I guess he just enjoyed it.”

It proved – like some things humans eat compulsively – to be a dangerous and expensive habit. In February last year, Corinne and husband Robert noticed that their cat wasn’t eating or drinking and was not acting normally. So they took him to Alisos Animal Hospital near their Mission Viejo home.

Dr. David Bahou put Buster on an IV, Corinne said, gave him round-the-clock antibiotics and tried to rehydrate him. “Then they did an x-ray. It showed a blockage in his digestive system. They tried giving him barium to make it pass,” she said, “and that didn’t work so they decided to give him surgery. That’s when we found out he had been eating plastic.”

Buster soon was on the road to recovery. But the Supernors were in a financial bind. “We really didn’t have the money to pay for the surgery,” Corinne said. She and her husband both work full time but “with all our other bills it was hard to come up with $4,000. And we didn’t have pet insurance so it was all out of pocket.”

The hospital recommended Angel Fund to help with the costs. “That was wonderful,” she said. “That was such a blessing. We told them our story and what we had been going through with Buster and they gave us a grant, which helped us greatly.”

Angel Fund and the hospital each contributed $500. Corinne and Robert put the balance on a credit card and are slowly paying it off.

And Buster? ”He is doing great. He got really skinny when he was sick. But he’s healthy again. And he loves playing with his brother [a litter mate]. He’s full of life again. He’s a bundle of joy.”

But the Supernors keep a close eye on him. That tempting plastic is kept out of reach. “It was pretty scary. We do not want him going through that ever again.”