In May 2015, Angel, a 3-year-old Chihuahua mix, was brought into our Associate Member Hospital, Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital, in a state of emergency. Five days earlier, Angel had eaten a pair of underwear but had vomited them up leading her “mom” Amanda to believe that she would be ok. Keeping an eye on Angel, Amanda noticed that she was growing lethargic and started vomiting water after she drank a large amount. Once it became clear that Angel was no longer interested in eating and hadn’t had a bowel movement in a day, Amanda knew something was not right.

The veterinarians at SCVH had an x-ray taken and as suspected, there was evidence of a cloth-like substance stuck in Angel’s small intestine. Unfortunately, Amanda, a working widow and mother, was unable to come up with the funds to pay for surgery to remove the obstruction. With very few resources, Amanda reached out on her Facebook page and two strangers helped her pay for the initial visit and diagnostics. Staff at Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital told her about BirchBark Foundation and Amanda made the call to us. 

After qualifying for financial need, Angel’s records and estimate were sent to our veterinary review panel. It is their job to determine if the case meets our mission. Is this a life-threatening illness with a good prognosis? Will this pet have the potential to live a long, healthy, and cared for life with her family?

The answers were yes and BirchBark funded $3,300 towards Angel’s surgery with Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital providing a 25% discount on their services.  Angel made it through the surgery, with the surgeon successfully removing the obstruction and part of her bowels that had been affected by the materials. Angel was also spayed during the process, as is mandatory for all of our grant recipients.

In Amanda’s words, “Thank you so very much for you help... I can't thank you enough. Ever since my husband passed away 2 years ago, Angel is the glue that holds my 12 y/o daughter together. Without Angel, I don’t know how my daughter would be able to make it through, so THANKS YOU FOR THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!”

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