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Case of the Month
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Case of the Month

Love for Daisy

In January, 2013, Jesse and Vanessa Nieto’s pit bull, Daisy, was not doing well. She lost weight and stopped eating. Jesse had lost his job because of the recession, but they took the dog to All Pets Medical & Surgical Center in Phillips Ranch.

“They gave her all kinds of tests and x-rays,” Jesse recalled, and decided that she need pyometra surgery. “But we didn’t have the money for it. There were a lot of things going on in my life. My wife and I were struggling to pay our bills.  I got really scared and I did not want to have to deal with something like that.”

Dr. Charles Mintzer and his staff suggested Angel Fund, which provided $500, as did the hospital, to help pay for Daisy’s surgery.  Jesse and Vanessa were grateful for the help.  After the operation, they took Daisy home but she still was not doing well. “Every day she just seemed to get worse and worse,” Jesse said. “The doctor did the best he could and I really appreciated what he did and what everyone did who helped.  Toward the end, Daisy was just lying down, suffering.  And the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. So I finally made the decision to put her to sleep. My wife and I cried. We don’t have children and we don’t see our dogs as children, either.  I know a lot of people who do that. But we really loved Daisy.”

The Nietos have another pit bull, a male named Blue, who was close to Daisy. Jesse’s first dog, Scrappy, also was a pit bull.  “I’ve always had pit bulls,” he said. “Regardless of what some people say, they can be trained to be the nicest, most fulfilling, loyal dogs.  I never had a bad experience with them.  I’m a guy who was given a second chance by society.  I spent three years in prison because of a lot of poor choices I made when I was young. And I don’t like people getting a bad reputation – because people can change. And dogs shouldn’t be given a bad reputation, either, because a dog is going to be whatever you want it to be.  It all has to do with the way you train a dog.  And that’s why I’m always willing to give dogs a chance that some other people won’t.”

Jesse remembered the warm welcome he got from his first dog after being in prison for three years.  And, he said, “I ended up turning my life around. I became a Christian. I said: ‘You know what? I ruined the first part of my life and I don’t need to ruin the rest of it.’  If you really want to, you can straighten out your life and you can be a successful member of society, which I am now.”

Daisy lived only about two months after her surgery. “When I told Dr. Mintzer that I was ready to put her to sleep, he told me: ‘You did the best you could and we did the best we could. The best thing you can do is remember and enjoy the time you had with her.’”

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