This family portrait was taken on a sunny day in April. Gorgeous green grass, budding flowers, bright smiles, laughter and love for their pets radiated from the family as they doted on their dogs. It was beautiful.

But four months prior, we were unsure if this family portrait would ever exist. Sandy, a senior terrier, became very sick.

“They are like our kids. When we noticed something was wrong with Sandy, we didn’t know what to do. We had no transportation to get her to the emergency vet and couldn’t afford a visit, so we called Gateway Pet Guardians,” said Sandy’s owner Janet. She called our Community Hotline, and together, we worked to save her life. We scheduled an appointment at our partner veterinarian, Hillside Animal Hospital.

Sandy was a very sick pup. She was diagnosed with pyometra, which is an infection in the uterus. It is a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated promptly and aggressively. It happens most often with unaltered middle-aged to senior dogs. She had a guarded prognosis, but the vet performed an emergency spay surgery to remove her uterus.

“We were devastated,” recalls Janet. “It was a point in time where losing her would have been too much.”

The next day, Sandy was a whole new dog. She fully recovered from her surgery, and returned home to her mama and doggy sister who were eager to see her! “We’re so thankful for the doctors that fit her in and saved her life. Without the vets and Gateway Pet Guardians, she would have died.”

Pyometra is a deadly, but very preventable illness. As soon as Sandy returned home, her mom signed her other dog, Angel up for spay surgery. There was no way she was going to go through that again! “I wanted Angel fixed right away because we didn’t want what happened to Sandy to happen to her. They are best friends. When one is gone, the other is worried. They need to be together.”

Now, both Sandy and Angel are spayed, vaccinated, and microchipped–and living happily ever after with their family that adores them. At Gateway Pet Guardians, we believe everyone deserves access to veterinary care. In a service area where 45% of residents live at or below the poverty line and zero veterinary clinics exist, we strive to bridge that gap, providing transportation and financial assistance to families in times of crisis.

Our East Side Pet Crisis Fund helps keep families whole. Many of the residents we aid with this fund have nowhere else to turn. But we can only help when funds are available. With your help, we can make a difference by keeping pets with their loving owners and out of area shelters. Donate today!