Tyler entered Virginia’s life as an eight-month-old, feisty Cocker Spaniel. He had been left at a shelter in Reno because his former owners weren’t invested in providing proper care for him. Since his former owners didn’t feed him on a regular basis or provide proper food, he had developed issues with food aggression. Despite this and the fact that he hadn’t been groomed for a long time, Virginia’s daughter, who volunteered at the shelter, saw his potential and knew her mother would love him.

Today, at 10 years old, Tyler still isn’t perfect but he is happy and healthy. He has been part of a family of two other Cocker Spaniels and a (recently passed away)cat. Virginia absolutely loves Tyler and he is as much her child as those she gave birth to. He sleeps on his own bed in her bedroom and is her constant companion.

Virginia and her menagerie moved to Monterey fairly recently and before they got established Tyler suddenly showed obvious signs of pain and stopped eating. This was troubling after the dedication and work Virginia had put in over the years to help him overcome his food issues. However, due to his serious mistreatment by prior owners, she was never able to brush his teeth and only get occasional cleanings.


Virginia was significantly distraught by Tyler’s pain and his inability to eat and took him to a local vet. At our Associate Member, Cottage Veterinary Care, the vet explained that Tyler had severe periodontal disease with bone loss and that his teeth must be extracted as soon as possible.

Virginia was unemployed and going through other financial difficulties. She could not afford the costs to have the emergency dental work done.  It appeared her only option was to euthanize Tyler, even though he was very healthy otherwise.

The staff at Cottage Veterinary Care mentioned that there were local agencies that might be able to help her with the cost.  She did a lot of research but was unable to receive the amount of support needed until she happened upon BirchBark Foundation, who provides a 50% financial assistance grant and works with its Associate Members so they reduce their costs by 25%. 


She applied online with heavy heart fearing she would be turned down.  To her immediate surprise, she discovered the BirchBark team was kind, friendly, helpful, and compassionate and the process was super easy. 

Virginia gives thanks every day for the organization and the vet that worked together to save Tyler’s life. Today, Tyler is happy and healthy still living with Virginia and the rest of his family. 

Please consider helping another pet stay in its loving home.