Baffy is a very special dog with a very important job to do. He is a service animal for an autistic family member. While Baffy’s family was in the process of moving, he was staying on a relative’s ranch when the family noticed he was limping. Baffy was taken for radiographs (X-rays) where it was discovered that he had a broken leg that needed surgery. Baffy’s family, like many, were facing challenging financial times due to COVID-19. Thankfully the team at SAGE Veterinary Centers reached out to SAGE Compassion for Animals and Baffy was able to get the surgery he needed through the combination of offering the surgery at a discounted fee and a grant from the non-profit.
Baffy’s family was very thankful to receive this grant since Baffy is not only a companion but a service dog. We continue to receive updates that BAffy’s recovery is going well and he is finally able to resume some puppy activities, including celebrating his 1-year birthday!
Molly, a 2-year-old Maltese mix, accidentally had a toolbox fall on her while staying over a friend’s house. At first, Molly was only limping, but shortly after, it was clear there was something wrong. The Gonzalez family discovered Molly had a broken back leg which needed surgical repair. Molly’s family, however, had experienced many hardships and were unable to afford her surgery. Molly’s owner, Tiffany, is a mother of four children, and the father, Mike, passed away in 2018 after a motorcycle accident. Earlier this year, their oldest daughter, Destiny, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Molly had been staying with a friend while Destiny was in the hospital. The Gonzalez family were already facing many challenges, and losing Molly was unthinkable. Tiffany was encouraged to apply for a grant through SAGE Compassion for Animals. As soon as we heard Molly’s story, our organization immediately wanted to help. SAGE Compassion for Animals awarded a grant to Molly’s family, and Adobe Animal Hospital significantly discounted their surgical services to fix Molly’s broken leg. Molly is now recovering from surgery at home and is in good spirits. Tiffany, Molly’s owner, said she is extremely grateful for the help after all her family has been through. Tiffany hopes by sharing their story, it will inspire others to donate to the SAGE Compassion for Animals organization. We are happy to help keep the Gonzalez family together with their sweet girl Molly.
It was Christmas Eve with SAGE Compassion for Animals got contacted by PAW FUND. They had a client that was in need of financial assistance in getting surgery performed on his 13-year-old Chihuahua named Coco. She had an infected uterus and was very ill. PETS IN NEED had already agreed to cover the costs of diagnostics at Animal Care Clinic in San Pablo and SAGE Veterinary Centers in Concord. Dr. Mike Evans performed the surgery at a discount at Animal Care Clinic and SAGE Compassion for Animals gave a grant to cover the rest. PAW FUND staff provided all the transportation for Coco between the veterinary practices and covered the cost of aftercare overnight, as well as food, supplies, and veterinary care needed for follow up. Coco has her appetite back and is playing with her toys – it truly took a community to provide the funding and care that Coco needed – all within 24 hours!
Coco is doing very well. Since finding Coco alone in a park over 12 years ago, she has been a constant companion. Coco’s dad says everyone involved in Coco’s care was a blessing. He wasn’t sure how he would have helped Coco, since finances are limited due to a disability. It was very hard for Coco’s dad to ask for help, but he is glad to have received assistance. He wants us to know that Coco comes first and she is making a speedy recovery!
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!
She’s the best present I could ever get.” Wise words were spoken by Billie, the 5-year-old owner of our grant recipient Marshmallow! Marshmallow is a 5-month-old French Bulldog who fractured her elbow playing in the yard. The Polk family adopted Marshmallow to be a companion to Billie. Their daughter was struggling, like most of us, with the isolation that has come in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Polk family hoped Marshmallow would bring happiness and some “normal to a very abnormal situation”. As soon as the pair met, Marshmallow gave Billie a hug and the two have been bonded ever since. When Marshmallow went to the vet for her injury, the family was facing a difficult decision to amputate Marshmallow’s leg since the cost of the surgical repair was extensive. Marshmallow was only a puppy, and still has many more years to run around with play dress-up with her 5-year-old best friend! That’s when SAGE Compassion for Animals stepped in. SAGE Veterinary Centers agreed to perform the surgery at a discounted rate, while our foundation gave grant money to assist with the medical bill. The Polk family is incredibly thankful and Marshmallow is doing well. “Marshmallow is a vital member to this family, and especially our daughter”. Swipe through for photos of her playing dress-up (pre-injury of course!).
Coco is a beloved senior Shih Tzu and Maltese mix belonging to the Mathis family. Coco was recently diagnosed with early signs of glaucoma but was still spritely at 13 years young. While Coco was playing with her housemate, something awful happened. The Mathis family found Coco had proptosis of her eye, which is the medical term for protrusion of the eyeball. Needless to say, Coco was immediately rushed into SAGE Veterinary Centers on emergency. Surgery was performed that day to remove the eye, which was a lifesaver. SAGE Compassion for Animals was able to offer a grant in conjunction with a discount from SAGE Veterinary Centers. Gina, Coco’s dog mom, was very traumatized by the event, even though Coco is recovering quickly. Coco is already starting to navigate around the home and act like her happy self. Gina felt extremely emotional and relieved that we were able to offer help. Coco was adopted as a puppy at 6 weeks old, and the family says Coco is truly the best dog ever. The Mathis family has two daughters in college, along with some unexpected expenses only made harder by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gina, when able, will be donating back to our organization to help others. If not for the financial assistance they received, Gina is not sure what they would have done for Coco. For now, they are spending the next week home giving Coco extra cuddles, and are very grateful.
Many are facing hard times this year, and the holiday season is especially difficult. If you are able, donate to SAGE Compassion for Animals to be able to help pets like Coco. We are committed to keeping families together and can use your help!
This is Toto, a one year old McNab who broke his tibia (shin bone) after a run in with a bull! Toto helps to move cattle on his ranch and the Grudin family say he is exceptional at what he does. Dr. Aitken, from SAGE Veterinary Centers, was Toto’s surgeon. Dr. Aitken happens to be an ex-rodeo bull rider who said, “My past experience on top of and under bulls really helped me understand what Toto was going through!” Toto’s family was devastated as a result of the injury. Mr. Grudin said, “Toto is a once in a lifetime dog. He is my son’s friend but he also works for me. I’ve only had one other dog like him.” Mr. Grudin explained that Toto is not only a pet, but a working dog. This can make the life of a dog owner difficult when you have to look at the wellbeing of the ranch as a whole. When the Grudin family found out the cost of surgery, they knew they would need help. Thankfully, they were connected with SAGE Compassion for Animals. We were able to grant money for Toto to have his fracture repaired. This was the most favorable outcome his family could have hoped for. They are very grateful for the help and Toto is making a full recovery. Toto is on rest right now, but Mr. Grudin said, “Toto has never lost his edge, he is tough and able to do the job. He is a phenomenal dog.”
This grant recipient is truly a story of perseverance, and “if there’s a will, there’s a way”. Chloe is a 9-year-old Labrador mix who means the world to her family. Her mom, Siania, is very attentive to Chloe, especially after she had a back injury several years ago. One morning, while they were out, Chloe tried to run after an unsuspecting cat. Thankfully, the kitty was fine, but later than night Chloe was not herself. She has some bloody discharge, but this could have been due to a heat cycle since Chloe was not spayed. Over the next few days, Chloe was acting sickly and vomited. Chloe’s family ended up in the emergency room at SAGE Veterinary Centers. Siania had been vigilantly caring for Chloe while analyzing her symptoms. Siania’s fears were confirmed; Chloe had a pyometra. A pyometra is a life-threatening infection of the uterus, which occurs in pets who have not been spayed.
When Chloe’s mom was given the estimate for surgery, she knew she needed to find help. Since Chloe was stable, she was able to go home temporarily while Siania figured out a solution. She got to work! Siania began calling several veterinary hospitals to get help. Siania is so thankful to one person, who told her there were organizations she could apply to for funding assistance. Siania finally got the call she was hoping for from SAGE Compassion for Animals, and it was such a relief. She had finally found the silver lining to all her hard work. Siania said, “I felt so stressed and alone. I felt the odds were against me. But then I knew God was helping me out.” We connected Chloe and her mom to one of our veterinary partners, Oak Tree Veterinary Hospital. By becoming a veterinary partner, animal hospitals are committing up front to providing discounted services to our grant recipients. Siania says everyone at Oak Tree Veterinary Hospital was so nice, patient, and understanding. Chloe immediately received surgery and is now recovering well at home. Siania reports, “I felt like Oak Tree was really interested in helping my dog. I was so relieved. I am so grateful and so blessed. I am lucky. If it wasn’t for SAGE Compassion for Animals, I couldn’t have helped her.”
We were so pleased to provide support for Chloe and her mom. We cannot thank our donors and veterinary partners enough. If you think your veterinary hospital may be interested in partnering with us, please have them email [email protected] and visit our website for more information.
Meet Amora! Amora is an 8-month-old Pomeranian that broke her femur, which is her thigh bone. Amora’s family left their home for less than an hour. When they returned, Amora was crying and they could tell she was injured. Amora is a very energetic puppy, and her family thinks she may have tried jumping on the furniture while they were gone. Amora was taken to Adobe Animal Hospital for fracture repair. The Mariano’s were not prepared for the cost of surgery and were connected with SAGE Compassion for Animals. The Mariano family was very grateful for the help. This all happened on Mr. Mariano’s birthday, and “nothing could make me happier than surgery for our daughter”! The Mariano’s are originally from Brazil and Amora is their first family dog. They are now looking into pet insurance so Amora will be protected. Mr. Mariano shared that pet insurance is not very common in Brazil. The name Amora means love, and this pups favorite thing to do is to give hugs! Amora is doing very well in her recovery. The biggest challenge is she’s feeling so great, it is hard to keep this puppy rested!
For more information on the advantages of pet insurance and how to choose the plan that is right for you, please go to our SAGE Compassion for Animals resource page!
Our latest grant is for our first feline recipient, a kitten named Boots! Boots is an eleven-month-old male kitty who had surgery for a urinary obstruction. This is a fairly common problem in male cats, where the urethra becomes obstructed and they are unable to urinate. This can happen due to inflammation and material blocking the urethra, such as mucus, crystals, or stones. Boots mom, Emily, initially thought he had a stomach ache because he was making meowing and squeaking noises. The medications given to settle his stomach did not help, and Boots then developed blood in his urine. Emily was given many estimates for Boots treatment, and options can vary. For Boots, he had an unblocking procedure with a urinary catheter, and then corrective surgery was recommended. This surgery is called a perineal urethrostomy, also called a PU, which widens the urethra. After a PU surgery, having another urinary blockage is very unlikely. Emily had just adopted Boots as a kitten in July, and the cost of surgery was not possible due to Emily’s current financial situation. Dr. Woodall at the San Francisco SPCA helped connect Boots to our veterinary partner, Fix Our Ferals. Emily said Fix Our Ferals, and their veterinarian, Dr. Goh, were amazing. They then helped Emily connect to SAGE Compassion for Animals to assist in Boots surgery cost. We were happy to help, and excited to help our first feline friend! Emily cannot say enough how thankful she is for all the care and assistance she received for Boots. Emily truly thought she was going to have to say goodbye to Boots as she couldn’t afford his care. Emily said Dr. Goh at Fix Our Ferals went above and beyond to offer comfort and aid in Boots’ recovery. Emily recounts, “It was a traumatizing and crazy experience but I am thankful everything worked out. Boots is even more lovable since surgery, which makes him even cuter!”. We agree; Boots is quite handsome! Boots’ case required collaboration by many organizations, and we could not be happier with the outcome. Go Boots!
Our next grant was a partnership with some wonderful organizations that help out our fur friends. We were contact by Dr. Strubel at Vet SOS; a non-profit that supports veterinary services for homeless individuals. They were worried about Rocky, a 12-year-old dog owned by Gloria. Rocky had multiple tumors around his rear which made it difficult to go to the bathroom. These tumors are often a response to hormones, so in addition to removing the tumors, neutering Rocky was also a priority. The San Francisco SPCA aided by running Rocky’s lab work, as it was necessary to make sure anesthesia was safe at Rocky’s age. Once that was cleared, Dr. Goh at Fix our Ferals agreed to do both surgeries at a discount. That is where SAGE Compassion for Animals stepped in! We were able to provide a grant to make surgery happen. Rocky is now doing well, and Gloria continues to bring him in for his regular check-ups at Vet SOS. Gloria is so grateful that all of our organizations came together to assist Rocky. A special thank you to the San Francisco SPCA, Dr. Strubel and Vet SOS, Dr. Goh and Fix our Ferals, and our donors! SAGE Compassion for Animals was proud to be a part of this community that came together to help Rocky and Gloria!
Our friends at PAW Fund reached out when Jackie, a 4-year-old Chihuahua, was hit by a car and her pet parent Jamie had to bring her to the emergency clinic. They examined her and performed x-rays to determine that Jackie’s tail was dislocated and lacked nerve function. An injury so severe and painful, it required a tail amputation.
PAW Fund was able to schedule surgery that next day with Dr. Evans at Animal Care Clinic but needed funding, even though Dr. Evans was generously offering his services at a discount. SAGE Compassion for Animals was able to cover the costs with a grant and Jackie was able to get the surgery she needed! Jackie went home the next morning comfortable and on the road to recovery.
SAGE Compassion for Animals is proud to be helping build a network and community of non-profits and veterinarians that come together to keep companion animals in medical crisis with their families that otherwise would not be able to afford the care that they need.
Mr. Purrfect's Story
Meet Mr. Purrfect! Mr. Purrfect is a 3-year old male neutered Persian who couldn’t urinate. He had surgery at SAGE Dublin for a perineal urethrostomy (PU). If you recall, our other feline grant recipient, Boots, had the same surgery done in May and he is doing so well! You can read more about Boots’ story on this page.
Jessica, Mr. Purrfect’s mom, noticed he was lethargic, not eating, and going in and out of the litter box several times. Despite Mr. P’s attempts, he was not producing any urine. This had happened once last year and Jessica knew Mr. P needed to get to a veterinarian right away. Urinary obstructions are medical emergencies and are fairly common in male cats. The urethra becomes inflamed and blocked with debris such as mucus, crystals, or stones. The SAGE Dublin team stabilized Mr. Purrfect, as his kidney enzymes were elevated due to his body not able to filter out waste. Mr. Purrfect’s emergency doctor, Dr. Lynne Morris, helped connect Jessica to SAGE Compassion for Animals. We were happy to provide a grant for Mr. Purrfect! Dr. Jennifer Ree performed a perineal urethrostomy (PU) surgery, which widens the urethra to prevent further blockages.
Jessica wrote us to give some history on how this handsome man came into her life:
At 7am on July 25, 2017, I let out my rescue dog Kobe to potty in the backyard. On the other side of my fence is a creek. When I opened the door to let Kobe in, following behind him was a little white furball. The furball casually waltzed in and I heard a small meow. I’ve never owned a cat, and in fact, was allergic to them. I had no idea what it was or what to do with it. My kids fell in love, and both my dogs took to him very well. Once my veterinarian opened 2 hours later, I took him in hoping they would know what to do. He had a little cough and his eyes looked infected. I was told they couldn’t take him and recommended that I take the kitten to a shelter. I didn’t know what his fate would be at a shelter, and I didn’t have the heart to do it. I asked the veterinarian to check him out, and I agreed to be responsible for the bill. I left Mr. P in hospital while they attended to him. I went out and bought whatever I thought a cat would need: litter box, toys, bed, treats, and food. I STILL had no intention of keeping him. I received a call an hour later. Mr. P was ready and his vet bill was almost $400. He had an upper respiratory infection, an eye infection in both eyes, and fleas. I was given his medications and we were sent on our way. My initial plan was to nurse him back to health and find him a new home. That obviously didn’t happen. He had our hearts during those first 2 hours after he walked into our home.
We are so thankful to our donors and veterinary partners who make our work possible. Jessica and her family have already set up a recurring donation to SAGE Compassion for Animals. When speaking with Jessica about Mr. Purrfect’s grumpy expression, she said, “I swear he’s smiling! You saved my baby’s life.”
Ted is a 7-year-old pitbull who had surgery for low-grade mast cell tumors. Brian, Ted’s dad, noticed Ted had a lump a few days after a visit with their regular veterinarian. A fine needle aspirate was performed, which means a needle was inserted into the mass to collect cells for review. The aspirate came back as a mast cell tumor. Mast cell tumors are a cancerous process of mast cells, and account for between 15%-20% of skin cancers. You can read more about mast cell tumors on our blog, here. Ted saw a few veterinarians before making his way to SAGE Veterinary Centers Campbell. Brian found SAGE’s oncologist, Dr. Regan, who is on the advisory board for an injectable medication called Stelfonta. Stelfonta is a non-surgical option, which involves an injection of Stelfonta directly into the tumor. Unfortunately, it was determined Ted was not a candidate for Stelfonta, which can happen in some cases. Dr. Regan recommended Ted to have the mast cell tumors removed with surgery. This was not only more invasive but also more costly. Dr. Regan helped refer Brian to us at SAGE Compassion for Animals. We were happy to provide the support needed to get Ted his surgery. Brian will have to monitor for any future growths, but Ted is recovering well at home. Ted was adopted as a puppy at 2 months old, and was Brian’s first dog. Brian now has insurance for Ted, so that he can provide any treatments Ted needs. Brian says, “Ted is a tank, but he’s also a ham. I am so glad I found SAGE Compassion for Animals, and Dr. Regan who was the nicest oncologist.”