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Case of the Month
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Clarizcel, Koopa, and the Crenshaw Animal Hospital
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Case of the Month

Clarizcel, Koopa, and the Crenshaw Animal Hospital

Clarizcel, Koopa, and the Crenshaw Animal Hospital

Clarizcel Perez and her beloved rescue dog, Koopa, met each other at an Orange County Animal Shelter.

She’d had a dog in her family’s home, but when she moved out, she wanted a pet of her own. Clarizcel decided to tour the local shelters, which is where she spotted an intriguing small dog that looked as if it might be part Pekingese. She asked to put a hold on him and came back a few days later to spend some time with him and see if they would be a good fit together.

“We went to a little cage area, where I could pet him and play with him.”

“He was very timid, and shy. It was obvious he’d been abused. I sat on the floor and began to pet him, but he was very afraid of me. While I tried to make him more comfortable, I was talking to the worker who was helping me with the process. After about five or ten minutes I got a little uncomfortable with how I was sitting and I sat back. That’s when he walked over to me so I could keep petting him, and then I thought, “This is it. It’s over. He’s coming home with me.”

Clarizcel’s friends helped her settle on the unusual name of Koopa. Clarizcel is an avid animal lover, especially turtles, and she really enjoyed playing Super Mario Bros. In the game, the turtles are called Koopa Troopas. So when a friend suggested that she call her new pet, Koopa’ Clarizcel thought, “I love turtles, I love Mario Bros, and I love this dog. That’s a perfect name!”

Clarizcel and Koopa just celebrated their four year anniversary together. It’s an anniversary they might not have gotten to share if not for the help of the Angel Fund.

In July, Clarizcel found a hematoma in Koopa’s ear. After doing a little research online, she decided to wait a couple of days to see if it would get bigger. Unfortunately, it did.

“I went to my local vet who told me it needed to be surgically  removed,” said Clarizcel. “That was hard because at the time I just graduated from college, and I didn’t have a real job. I was working part-time at a local frozen yogurt place, and I didn’t have the ability to pay that much money for him.”

Clarizcel decided to check around to see if she could find any kind of alternative care or treatment that might be affordable, which led her to the Crenshaw Animal Hospital.

“They told me they could give me a free first time visit, just so they could take a look,” said Clarizcel. “So I went in with Koopa, and they gave me the same results as my first vet, which were ‘Koopa needs surgery, it costs about this much, and payment plans aren’t usually done,’ so I was a bit disappointed.

But the next morning Clarizcel got a call from Dr. Henry Yoo who had reviewed her file. Much to her great relief, he wanted to help. Clarizcel went into the Crenshaw Animal Hospital the very next day and filled out the necessary paperwork to apply for assistance from the Angel Fund.

As a board member of the SCVMA, Dr. Yoo is happy to promote the usage of the Angel Fund by veterinarians, but he does wish more vets who are SCVMA members would learn about the program and utilize it. “I would love for our membership to be more aware of this resource,” he says. “I understand that the veterinarians may not necessarily think about the Angel Fund because they’re trapped in the daily care of their clients, but I would love if staff, like the office managers, technicians, or front desk workers knew that the Angel Fund is available.”

Dr. Yoo worked with Clarizcel to be able to afford Koopa’s surgery, and Clarizcel says she cannot express enough gratitude to Dr. Yoo and the Angel Fund for the help she received. “I know I’m not alone in the world because of people who do good work like this,” she says. “Sometimes life throws us these problems, and I thank those who helped me so much because I couldn’t imagine saying good-bye to my little baby.”

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