Nox is a 1 ½-year-old black female cat. She was rescued, barely alive and less than twelve hours old by a friend of her now guardians, Paul and Kimberly.  Nox was the lone surviving kitty from a litter of six. When a friend posted the kitten’s story and photos on Facebook, the moment Kimberley saw pictures of the ‘little black ball of fur,’ she immediately fell in love. Once Nox was old enough, Kimberley and her husband, Paul, brought her home from their friend’s home in Reno, Nevada. Paul held Nox on the drive all the way home and when they arrived home the pair were behind closed doors together so that Nox could feel safe in her new environment. From that moment on, Paul and Nox have been inseparable. Paul is Nox’s human.

When Paul noticed that Nox was losing weight and not eating he got her to the ER veterinarians at BirchBark’s associate member hospital Pacific Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service. Nox was diagnosed with pyometra, a life-threatening condition that can occur in unspayed females.  Following the emergency diagnosis, Paul turned to BirchBark. His funds were not sufficient to pay for the surgury that Nox needed to save her life. BirchBark Foundation stepped in and Nox’s surgery was performed at associate member hospital Parkview Veterinary. Thanks to both BirchBark’s associate member hospital discounts Paul was able to save his ‘baby.’ Nox came through the surgery fine and is now home safe and well with her human, Paul and her new family.

Please make a gift to BirchBark today! Your donation can help save other pets like Nox!


Robert is a happy four year-old Boxer-Pit mix. One day last month, when his dad was away from home, someone in the house left the door open. Robert and his puppy friend, Jessie, wandered out and away from home. Robert’s dad, Lloyd received a call informing him that Jessie had been picked up and was fine. But where was Robert? Shortly afterward, Lloyd received another call letting him know that Robert had been hit by a car and was brought by the Seaside Police to BirchBark Associate Member hospital Monterey Peninsula Veterinery Emergency & Specialty Center. Robert’s wounds were extensive and he was in critical condition.

Lloyd had rescued Robert and his brother, Rawlo, as puppies from a ranch in the San Joaquin Valley where his previous guardian had become very ill. If new homes weren’t found, Robert and Rawlo face euthanasia. Since that moment of rescue, Robert became Lloyd’s best friend and has always been by his side—and recently throughout his undergraduate and post-graduate experience at CSUMB. The thought of losing him was too much to bear.

Robert had suffered multiple internal and external injuries including a severely fractured left rear leg. The fracture was so severe, that amputation was the best option for treatment. After covering as many costs as possible, Lloyd was told about BirchBark. Robert was monitored and stabilized over a two day period and was ready for surgery. BirchBark was able to help pay for his amputation surgery. He’s now doing great and is back to his happy, playful self.

Here’s a note from his dad: I am happy to say that thanks to BirchBark Foundation, I have my best friend back. He is now a happy, three legged dog and doing much better since his accident. If it wasn’t for BirchBark I would have lost a big part of life. Robert and I are forever in debt for their services and so very thankful.

Please make a gift today andhelp us save other pets like Robert!


Blue is a 5 year old, neutered, shorthair male tabby cat.  His dad noticed he was having difficulty urinating and saw blood in his urine. It was a very scary time for Blue’s family. They thought he was going to have to have surgery and they didn’t know where they’d get the funds. Blue’s dad is a U.S. Army Veteran struggling with PTSD. He and his family reside in temporary housing at the Veterans Transitional Center. They’ve suffered a lot of loss recently and thought they were going to lose Blue. The family contacted BirchBark for financial assistance. Blue was taken to Associate Member hospital, Animal Hospital of Salinas. After some diagnostic testing was performed  it was determined that Blue did not have a bladder stone that needed surgery. He could be treated more conservatively with antibiotics to remedy the urinary tract infection. However, it was critical that his diet be changed to a prescription diet for cats to prevent urinary tract problems.

The good news is that Blue did not have to have surgery. Blue’s family was relieved. While Blue’s case did not become a life-threatening situation that needed BirchBark funding, BirchBark decided to help defray the costs of the expensive new diet food by donating a case of urinary special diet food to the family.

Blue is now home with his human and kitty families enjoying his new food and family love.

We are very grateful to the BirchBark Foundation. Thank you for all that you do. Not just for us but for all the families that you have helped and continue to help. —Carlos, Tina and Chris (Blue’s humans).

Please make a gift today and  help us save other pets like Blue!

Pee Pee Boy

Pee Pee Boy is an eighteen-month old Bull Mastif who got just a little too curious one day. He first came to his family as a teeny, tiny pup after an aquaintance realized his older dog wasn’t able to get along with a new puppy. The aquaintance just left Pee Pee Boy and never returned. The puppy became an instant part of the family. One day while out in the fence in yard, Pee Pee Boy must have found a hole and ran off. His family didn’t notice until they went to call him in. He must have run through the woods and out onto the road and was hit by a car. When his family reached him he was on the road side severely injuried.

Pee Pee Boy was taken to Associate Member hospital Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital. He was in shock, was diagnosed with a femur fracture, had blood in his abdomen and other possible internal complications. He was stabilized overnight and watched closely but needed surgery for the fracture, treatment for other injuries and a hospital stay for several days. His mom, Carol, lives on disability income and is also responsible for several family members.  She wasn’t able to come up with the funds needed to save Pee Pee Boy’s life and was told about BirchBark.

BirchBark was able to step in to help save Pee Pee Boy. He’s home now and slowly returning to his ‘adolescent’ self. All fences have been secured and he’s watched much more closely.

After he was home from the hospital his mom, Carol wrote us this note:

Thank you BirchBark for saving Pee Pee Boy. Because of the amazing help of BirchBark Pee Pee Boy is alive and well. Pee Pee Boy, will proudly be supporting his new scar.

Please make a gift today and  help us save other pets like Pee Pee Boy!

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel, just Coco to those who love her, is a 6-year old Mini Schnauzer.  Her mom, Regina, was grieving the loss of her Dad who had passed away 4 months prior when she met Coco and knew that she was going to be the angel to heal her sadness.  They bonded quickly and so far have had six loving years together.  Regina never knew it was possible to love an animal so unconditionally until she met Coco.

The day Coco woke up sick and urinating blood Regina knew instantly that something was seriously wrong.  Immediately she took her to a veterinarian where she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection.  Coco was put on antibiotics, but after 30 days she was still very sick.  After multiple visits to the vet it was discovered that she had stones in her bladder that would require surgery.  If not treated urinary tract blockages can be fatal. At the time Regina didn’t have the funds to help Coco.  When Regina saw BirchBark’s public service announcement on TV she knew it might be her answer to saving her beloved dog.  Working with BirchBark and Associate Member Hospital, Aptos-Creekside, Coco was able to get the surgery she needed.

Coco is recovering well at home and will soon return to being a happy, loving, rambunctious, wild spirited dog.  Regina’s family and friends are anxious for some Coco kisses and the neighbors are looking forward to seeing the two taking their daily walk.

Please make a gift today and help us save other pets like Coco!


Rosie is a very sweet 1 year 8 month old German Shepherd mix. She is the love of her family's life. One day her 'cousin' took her for a run and Rosie (like many puppies) decided to break free from her collar. She ran so fast, no one could catch her. Once her cousin came home, the family kept searching, but certain Rosie seemed gone for good.
About 5 hours later, she showed up with severe laceration wounds all over her body. She must have been hit by a car.
Rosie's 'dad' Antonio is blind due to a complication from diabetes. His son, Angel, rushed Rosie to Associate Member hospital Santa Cruz Veterinary. The family was able to pay for some of her care, but not the needed surgery to close her life-threatening wounds. Without more extensive treatment for her injuries she may not live. Angel called BirchBark for help. We were able to provide the additional funds for extensive wound care and surgical treatment and an overnight stay at the hospital.
Rosie is now home with her 'mom & dad' and sharing in the joy of playing with and being surrounded by all her extended family.
Our whole family is so grateful that such a helpful foundation exists. Without BirchBark we do not know what would have happened to our sweet Rosie. I can't find the words to say how much i thank you truly from the bottom of my heart.—Antonio (Rosie's dad)

Lil' Guy

Lil' Guy is a 7-year-old, neutered toy poodle. He is the love of his ‘mom’s’ life. Lil’ Guy had such severe periodontal (dental) disease that it was threatening his life. May (his mom) was referred to specialty hospital, Dentistry for Animals by his regular veterinarian at Harden Ranch Veterinary. May was beside herself. Being a senior on a very small fixed income, she didn’t know how she could afford the nearly $2500 for his life-saving surgery. Generally, BirchBark does not fund dental care, however upon examinging him, dental specialist Dr. Judy Force determined his severe periodontal disease and bone loss would need major surgery to treat his infection and try to correct his dental disease or he might lose his jaw. BirchBark stepped in and was able to cover the major portion of Lil’ Guy’s surgery. He’s now adjusted his eating habits to having less teeth and otherwise, he is healing beautifully.


Sebastian is a one and half year old indoor/outdoor male kitty. A friend and housemate had originally adopted him, but it was clear to London (Sebastian’s new dad) that he was not being treated well and was being abused and severely neglected. London requested to care for Sebastian, the housemate moved out and all was well. Then, one day Sebastian didn’t return home in the evening as he always had. London posted flyers and looked everywhere. Five days later, Sebastian returned home injured. It appeared he’d likely been hit by a car and London immediately took him to BirchBark’s Associate Member Hospital, Westside Animal Hospital in Santa Cruz. Sebastian’s left femur was fracture in two places. London’s love for Sebastian was strong, but he didn’t have the funds needed to cover the extensive surgery needed to save his life. He was referred to BirchBark and we were able to provide the funds to help London with Sebastian’s extensive surgery. After a long recovery and London’s diligence to save and care for him, Sebastian is now getting back to himself. London was able to secure a restraining order against the original roommates. In London’s words:  I would do anything for my little boy Sebastion. And with the help of the Birchbark Foundation we did everything that needed to be done. Thank you guys so much!—London


Koda is a 15-month old German Shepherd. He was given his name from the movie Brother Bear because he looked and acted just like the bear cub. Koda’s ‘mom’ describes him as the most friendly dog we've ever had. He’s made friends with the next door neighbor’s chicken, loves cats and always plays with the little dogs at the park. His only down fall is he eats anything and everything: roots, wood, toys, and balls. When he started randomly throwing up and losing interest in food, it was clear something was seriously wrong. His mom, Rene, took him to their regular veterinarian, Associate Member Aptos-Creekside Pet Hospital. Stomach X-rays revealed a foreign object in his stomach that he could not pass. He was transferred to Pacific Veterinary Specialists and Emergency, another BirchBark Associate Member hospital. The cost to treat Koda was way more than Rene could afford. That’s when she was referred to BirchBark. Thankfully, the Birchbark Foundation was able to step in and help us cover the costs we couldn't! They saved our baby, said Rene. Fortunately, Dr. Colleen Brady was able to remove the object through gastroscopy and major surgery was avoided. The vet pulled the object out successfully but his stomach was very torn up inside. This also led to the finding of him having an issue in his GI Tract. He is now on the mend with special food, vitamin B12 shots, and probiotics. His spirits are up and he loves being back at the local dog park. We have our Koda back and we couldn't be more grateful to BirchBark Foundation.—Koda’s mom, Rene


Mika is a 6-year-old female Maltese. One minute she was standing next to her ‘dad’ Aaron, and the next she’d run into the road and was struck by a car. Aaron ran to her immediately, but Mika was not responsive. He scooped her up and immediately took her the the emergency service at Associate Member hospital Santa Cruz Veterinary where it was determined she had multiple pelvic fractures and a ruptured femur.

Aaron is a continuing education student and is in the middle of a career change. In addition to Mika, he’s also the proud papa of a little baby girl. Extensive surgery was going to be necessary right away to save Mika, but Aaron did not have the financial means to pay for it.  He contacted BirchBark and was approved for financial assistance. Our veterinary review board immediately reviewed Mika’s case and surgery was approved for that same day. Within hours she was undergoing what turned out to be a complicated and lengthy, but successful surgery. Mika is now home and on her way to a full recovery.

A note from Mika’s ‘dad’: I am so grateful to BirchBark for their immediate assistance with Mika's emergency surgical needs. Without them I don't know where Mika and I would have been. As I watch my "little pup" regain her ability to walk and eventually run and jump as she used to, I know the BirchBark team will be in my thoughts for their help when we needed it most. —Aaron


Penguin is nearly 5 years old. He’s a male Chihuahua mix. Earlier this summer he began showing signs of sickness. He was getting up in the night to drink water more often and was periodically vomitting. His ‘mom’ thought he was getting better, then noticed he’d lost a lot of weight and wasn’t eating as much, and his energy was very low. He began stumbling going up the stairs. That’s when he was taken to Associate Member hospital to Santa Cruz Veterinary. They did lab work and discovered he had a complication of diabetes mellitus called Ketoacidosis (DKA). He had to be hospitalized immediately and remain there three days. His family was heartbroken and didn’t know how they would cover the cost. BirchBark Foundation was contacted and was able to provide financial assistance for his hospitalization and a portion of his medication. Penguin is doing well and will have to be monitored. He still has lots of life and love in him.

Thank you very much Birchbark foundation for making it possible to get the medical help he needed. I will be forever grateful. I’m so happy to still have Penguin with us and that he is doing so good.—Esmeralda, Penguin’s mom.

To learn more about DKA, click here.


Puddin is a beautiful nine and a half year old Calico cat. She came to her family as a Christmas present for their daughter. She was so young that her family bottle-fed her. She's been very healthy her whole life, until recently. When she stopped eating for several days her 'mom' knew something was wrong. After some diagnostic tests were done, it was discovered she had a bacterial infection in her liver. She had to be hospitalized right away. Puddin stayed in the hospital for three nights at Associate Member hospital Pacific Veterinary Emergency & Specialty. Puddin’s mom needed some financial help and a family member knew of BirchBark Foundation. She contacted us and BirchBark was able to cover the costs of some of Puddin’s hospitalization and medication costs. After she was stabilized, she was much happier at home and her family was able to administer her medications every day. She’s doing much better now and is eating and playing. She is loved dearly and is a HUGE part of her family.

We are very grateful to BirchBark Foundation and I want to Thank them for Caring and all their Support!—Cheryl, Puddin’s mom.


Sully is an adorable four-month old Pit Bull mix. Like many puppies, finding objects to put in his mouth is a favorite pastime. His favorite was to hide socks under the bed for later chewing. One day his ‘mom’ Alycia noticed that he was very lethargic—quite unusual behavior for a little energetic puppy. Then, he began to vomit and wasn’t eating or drinking. He was taken to Associate Member Pacific Veterinary Hospital and Emergency Service. After some diagnostic testing, it was determined that Sully had swallowed a foreign object—likely socks—and needed immediate surgery.

Sully came into Alycia’s life earlier this year. She’d been struggling with some serious emotional issues. Sully became her emotional support and has helped her to become stronger and will eventually be trained as an emotional support service dog. Alycia is a seventeen year-old who is still in high school and works part-time to help out. She and her dad realized Sully’s surgery was going to cost more that they could handle with their limited finances. That’s when BirchBark was contacted. Sully’s emergency surgery was funded and yes—he had sock material in his tummy and intestines. His surgery was quite extensive and he made it through and is recovering well. He’s now at home being Alycia’s companion and support puppy.

Birchbark Foundation so kindly and generously helped save Sully’s life, for that I am so grateful, I just wish I could let them know exactly how much. I love my dog to death, and that will never change, so thank you so much Birchbark! You have helped out a teenage girl, and her puppy!—Alycia

Please help save other pets like Sully. Make your gift to BirchBark today! Thank you.


Tinkerbell is a three-year-old Domestic Long Hair. She is her ‘mom’s’ love, support and life-line. Tinkerbell is mostly an indoor kitty, but she goes out occassionally. One night, while outside, she was attacked and abused by local teenagers in the apartment complex where she and her mom live. She was horribly traumatized and her tail was set on fire. She was taken to BirchBark member hospital, Pacific Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service, where it was determined that once she was past the initial trauma, if her tail was amputated she would be able to recover and live a normal life. Without the amputation, she would likely die from the wound and complications. Animal Control was brought in on the case, but unfortunately they were not able to identify or catch the abusers.

Tinkerbell’s mom is intellectually disabled and lives in the apartment complex on her own, under the guidance of her human support system. She was unable to pay for the treatment needed and BirchBark was contacted to help. With the love of her ‘mom’ and the financial support from BirchBark, Tinkerbell had her tail amputated and has recovered well—and is now an indoor kitty.


Butters is a very sweet 5 year old Chihuahua mix. He, along with his older brother Pincho, are the love of their family's life. Butters came to the family as a puppy—having been left on someone’s lawn in a box. Butters’ family rescued him and hoped he would provide companionship for Pincho—they instantly became best friends.

One day, the family noticed Butters was taking longer than usual to urinate. They knew there was something wrong. He was taken to Associate Member hospital, Animal Hospital of Soquel. A stone was found blocking Butters’ ability to urinate. This could be deadly. Initially, due to financial constraints, Butters’ family chose non-surgical treatment. Unfortunately it didn’t work, and the family had depleted their funds. It was suggested they contacted BirchBark Foundation.  With the help of BirchBark funds Butters had the life-saving surgery he needed. He’s now on a special diet for urinary disorders and home with his family and best friend Pincho!

Our family goes through many ups and downs, but knowing that there are wonderful people and a program like BirchBark— that doesn’t judge and listens— makes me so hopeful for other families that are struggling to live a normal healthy life. Thank you again and again, Butters’ Family


Cooper’s story is best told by the letter his ‘sister’ sent us. His family lives in Watsonville. Mom & Dad do not speak English and are agricultural workers. Maria (his ‘sister’) contacted us. Here is her story:

Cooper is a five month old shih tzu puppy, he has been a new addition to our family and everybody has grown very fond of him during the time that we've had him. He is a very playful and active little puppy that enjoys to spend time with all of us.

     One Monday night, Cooper was laying on top of a couch when he suddenly attempted to jump off the couch and in the process he ended up injuring  one of his back legs.We took him to an animal clinic, but they weren't able to help us because they told us they didn't specialize in treating these types of cases. So instead they sent us to Santa Cruz Vet Hospital where they told us he could be treated if he actually did have a fractured leg. When we were there at the Santa Cruz Vet Hospital my dad was able to pay for his first x-rays and examination, etc. which took most of the money we had available. Later on that day we were told that our little puppy had a fractured leg and he would require surgery in order to fix it. We were all devastated because we knew that we wouldn't be able to afford the surgery for our little puppy because the price estimate was too high for us. We attempted to apply for Care Credit but our application was rejected. At this point we were very worried and desperate for help because we wanted to help our puppy Cooper, but we didn't have the money to do so.

     After we were rejected from Care Credit the people at Santa Cruz Vet Hospital suggested that we should contact BirchBark Foundation. They told us to explain to them our situation through a phone call. So that night I the eldest daughter, left them a voicemail explaining to them what was going on with our dog and how we didn't have a way to pay for his leg surgery. The next morning they contacted me and they told us that they would try to help us in any way they could. This phone call made both my family and I very happy because afterwards our dog was able to go through with his surgery, and as of now he is recovering and still is the same active and playful little puppy everyone in our family loves. Cooper is our little bundle of joy and we appreciate organizations such as BirchBark that are able to help families in need just like us and our loving pets. We are also very thankful to the Santa Cruz Vet Hospital for talking to us about this foundation because I don't know what we would of done without it.   

     Thank you BirchBark Foundation we are so glad you guys came into our lives and provided so much help for our pet, we cannot thank you enough. We hope that other families in our situation are able come come across an organization that is just as wonderful as you guys. We also hope that you help many other families with their pets.

 Once again thank you for your help Birch Bark Foundation -  Cooper's family

Help BirchBark save more lives like Cooper's. Please click here to donate today!


Bandit is a 10 month old male Australian Blue Heeler mix. One day, his mom, Kelsey, decided to join a friend at a pet adoption event—just to look. Bandit’s dad said he knew when Kelsey walked out the door that she’d be bringing home a puppy. One look at Bandit and Kelsey’s heart was won over. Bandit was just a month old and now has won the heart of the entire family.

One day in late August, Bandit began vomiting and drinking excessively. He was taken to his regular veterinarian in Boulder Creek and after stabilizing him with fluids and doing some diagnostic tests, it was determined Bandit had a foreign obstruction of unknown origin in his small intestine and needed emergency surgery. He was transferred to BirchBark's Associate Member Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital.

Bandit’s mom had already spent all her available funds at Boulder Creek veterinary hospital, and she turned to BirchBark Foundation for financial assistance. With BirchBark’s help, Bandit was prepped for abdominal surgical exploration and removal of the foreign material. It was a corn cob! Not an uncommon object for dogs to swallow...especially during summer months. A warning for any family picnic or backyard BBQ—make certain to pick up all corn cobs.

Dr. John Davies performed Bandit’s extensive surgery and today he’s at home sharing the love of his family and playing with his canine brother.

Click here to make a donation.