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Case of the Month
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Heart Warming Support
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Shelly, Shiloh and Dr. Barry Baum
A New Life for Jeannie
David and Kiki Running in the Cove
View all

Case of the Month

Shelly, Shiloh and Dr. Barry Baum

Shelly, Shiloh and Dr. Barry Baum

Shelly and Shiloh

 When Shelly Littlefeather left her dog, Shiloh, with a pet sitter to go on the first of work she’d had for months, she was sure nothing would go wrong. Although she had previously made it a point to only hire pet sitters who were bonded and insured, she’d just moved to Big Bear because it was more affordable and offered a better quality of life for her animals, and she hadn’t had time to find someone with that kind of insurance behind them.

Shelly thought, “Well, nothing bad has ever happened to my animals before, and chances are they won’t now. I’ve interviewed this woman, she seems responsible, and I need to work.”

 It seems so unfair that the one time Shelly relaxed her standards would be the one time it would’ve been so crucial for her to have upheld them, but when she came home in the morning from a long night’s work, she knew something was wrong when she saw a small pile of metal on her floor.

 “I didn’t know what it was for sure right away,” says Shelly, “but I knew it wasn’t good because it looked like a shark had torn up something metal. I just knew it was Shiloh.”

Keeping a close eye on her dog, Shelly took him for a walk in their neighborhood and saw that he looked lively, but later that night, when Shiloh vomited, she knew she had a problem on her hands.

She called several local veterinary hospitals. To her dismay she discovered the emergency fees would be too costly for her. Shelly thought about her former veterinarian, Dr. Baum at Center Sinai and recalled that they didn’t charge emergency fees. Even though it was a two hour drive away, Shelly didn’t hesitate. She bundled her two dogs into her car to get Shiloh some help.

Shortly after Shiloh was examined, Shelly learned that Shiloh had three pieces of metal lodged in her digestive tract. Shelly was advised to try to help Shiloh pass the pieces, but if the metal hadn’t exited Shiloh’s body by the next day, her pet would most likely need surgery.

 Unfortunately, all the metal did not pass through Shiloh’s body. Shelly was distraught. She didn’t know how she was going to be able to afford the surgery. Fortunately, Emily Rangel, a long-time employee at Centers-Sinai remembered Shelly as a long-time client, whom Emily hadn’t seen for a while. Emily saw how distressed Shelly was, asked her what was going on. When she learned of Shelly’s financial difficulties, she told Shelly, “Let’s take care of Shiloh, and we’ll figure out the finances. He really needs to have the surgery and we don’t want you to have to wait due to any financial problems because it could get worse.”

 Emily immediately thought of the SCVMA and the AHFSCVMA Angel Fund. When the grant came through, it was a tremendous relief for both Emily and Shelly.

 As Emily says, “One of the worst things that I see clients come in with is when they’re already having a hard time financially and then something bad happens with their pet. They get so overwhelmed with everything. We try to be there to help and tell them we will do whatever we can do to get the pet better without having to worry too much about the financial end of things. The grant was one of those things that made it possible to help a great client.”

 Shiloh came through surgery beautifully and has made a full recovery. Shelly implores other pet owners to please make sure to hire insured and bonded pet sitters only and to never tempt ananimal by leaving an opened can of food where a beloved pet like Shiloh might reach it.

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