Meet our first 2021 grant recipient Canelo! He is a sweet 8-month-old mixed breed puppy. Canelo’s family always wanted a dog, and finally brought a puppy home for a special purpose.

Canelo was adopted as an emotional support animal for his dog mom, who was struggling with anxiety only magnified due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The family was taken by surprise when their new puppy began urinating blood. Diagnostic tests showed this was due to a bladder stone and urinary crystals. Surgery was recommended because of concern that the bladder stone would eventually block his urethra. If this were to happen, Canelo would be unable to urinate and need emergency surgery!

Canelo’s mom is a college student on scholarships and Pell grants, and the family is facing job loss due to the pandemic. They were finding work through Day Workers programs, but these jobs have been sadly inconsistent. His family asked themselves what would happen if they could not afford his care – would he have to go to a rescue, or even be euthanized? These are certainly not the decisions they expected to face so soon after getting their first puppy. Canelo’s family sprang into action by creating a GoFundMe account for his medical costs, and then applied for a grant through SAGE Compassion for Animals. We were thankfully able to help and worked with Cherry Chase Pet Hospital who provided a gracious discount for their services. Canelo was able to get the necessary surgery, along with a neuter procedure, which may help prevent future bladder stone formation. Canelo will also need long term diet changes and follow up care, but his family is happy to make the modifications for this exceptional pup. Canelo’s mom says he has significantly helped her anxiety through these challenging times.

Canelo’s family is very grateful for all the assistance and support they have received. They would like to encourage anyone able to give support to our organization, as they, “hope we can continue to help other pets like Canelo”. We do too and are thankful every day for the support we receive from the community. It has been an honor to make these happy “tails” possible!