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Dog with tongue out

Angel Fund Helps Puppy Stricken by Parvovirus

Victoria Romero, a young graphic design student, had wanted a dog since she was eight or nine years old.  When she turned 16 a couple of years ago, she suggested to her mother that she give her a dog instead of a Sweet Sixteen party.

Her mother said no.  “So I had never had another opportunity [to have her own dog] until now,” she said.  A friend of her Mom, who had a female Maltese-Poddle mix puppy, wanted to find someone who could take the dog off her hands.

Victoria took charge of Kona in mid-November.  The dog was lethargic and she knew that the animal would need shots.  “So I called the [Aliso Animal] hospital and made an appointment for the next day,” she said.

Dr. David Bahou examined the dog and told Victoria that her new pet had parvovirus.  “This is my first dog and I really wanted to be careful with her,” she said.  “I was crying the whole time in the hospital because I thought maybe I had done something wrong.”  At the time, she had been Kona’s owner only a couple of days.

Dr. Bahou assured her that she was not at fault.  “He said that Kona’s symptoms would have started five to seven days after exposure so she had gotten the virus when she was with the previous owner,” Victoria said.   

But there was another issue: paying for Kona’s treatment.

“I was very sad because I did not have the money I needed,” Victoria said, “and the only option was putting her down. I did not want to do that.  I was already so attached to her.  I loved her so much that I couldn’t do that.  I called my family and friends to invite them to give me a little bit each.

“Dr. Bahou and the hospital staff really wanted to help me,” she said.  “When they told me about Angel Fund, I said let’s do that.  I just didn’t want to see Kona get worse because she already was so lethargic.

“I’m really grateful for Angel Fund and what they did. It really helped me out.  I hope other people can find out about Angel Fund.”

Victoria, a student at Laguna College of Art and Design, works as a baby sitter for her mother and in a child day care role at a local school district.  She expects to graduate from her program in the spring of 2025. 

She heads to one of the schools in the district each work-day morning to help young students who participate in a pre-school program, she said.  “I work about an hour and a half,” she said, “getting their minds awake for school.”  Then she returns home to supervise her two younger siblings while her mother works.

Her mother does house cleaning and some gardening work and manages a group of workers. 

Kona who is now about five months old and weighs about three pounds, is doing well.  “She’s now about 100 percent,” Victoria said.  “She has been running around the house trying to steal our shoes.”

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