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Case of the Month
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Mommaz Boy
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Pretty Boy
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Saving Yoko
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Scottie, The Fernando Family and Dr. Liz Koskenmaki
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A New Life for Jeannie
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View all

Case of the Month

Scottie, The Fernando Family and Dr. Liz Koskenmaki

Scottie, The Fernando Family and Dr. Liz Koskenmaki

It was love at first sight when Liezel Fernando’s three boys first saw Scottie, a Jack Russell Terrier mix, at a shelter two years ago. Feisty, smart, and loyal, Scottie was adopted by the Fernando family and became an incredibly loving and muchloved family member. When Liezel Fernando spotted a small blemish on Scottie, she didn’t think too much of it. Scottie loved playing with other dogs and Liezel just thought Scottie had a scratch.

As time passed however, the spot became a swelling. Then the swelling became a bump. When the bump got larger and larger, Liezel knew she had to have Scottie examined. She turned to a friend of a friend, Dr. Liz Koskenmaki of the Media City Animal Hospital in Burbank for help.

“When Liezel brought Scottie in, it was clear that the mass was bothering Scottie,” says Dr. Koskenmaki, “I explained to her that whether or not the mass was malignant, it was ulcerated and infected, and needed to be surgically removed.”

Dr. Koskenmaki gave Liezel an estimate, but as a single working mother raising three children on her own, Liezel did not have the funds necessary for the procedure. The hospital tried to arrange for care credit for Scottie, but the request was declined. At that point Dr. Koskenmaki recalled an e-mail she received about the Angel Fund and thought Scottie and the Fernandos would be excellent candidates for the program.

“I applied right away, and I heard back immediately the next day,” says Dr. Koskenmaki. “It was my day off, and they called me on my cell phone to tell me the good news. I was able to call Liezel the same day and she was ecstatic.”

Liezel remembers being thrilled to hear they would be able to help Scottie. “My goodness, my kids were so happy. We didn’t know what we were going to do,” she says. “Scottie was looking really bad, and he was losing his appetite. We were very hopeful once we heard the good news. The kids were praying that the surgery was going to be done, and that he was going to come through this okay. So when Dr. Liz had us apply and we were approved, we were just beyond happy.”

The operation went without a hitch, and the mass was later diagnosed as a basal cell tumor, which was a huge relief for the hospital and the Fernando family.

“We are so grateful that something like this is offered to people like me,” says Liezel. “It really helped us a lot.”

Dr. Koskenmaki’s appreciation is no less. “I think it’s important as vets that we showed the community that we do have compassion,” she says. “Some people look at us as if we’re just out for the money, and it’s very frustrating because everyone I know who has gone into veterinary medicine has gone into it because of their love for animals and their desire to help. But because the costs are going up and the

economy is so bad, people sometimes just don’t have the money. So having this Angel Fund and seeing that the hospitals also are willing to contribute towards helping somebody in need gives a good message to the community that we’re not just here to make money. We’re here to help the animal in any way we can. The Angel Fund helps make this possible.

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