Meet FACE Success Story Jax

Jax and Luis

We’re privileged to introduce you to a very special FACE Success Story.

Jax and his dad Luis headed out for a day of fun and were driving north on California’s Interstate 5 when a drunk driver, who was driving the wrong way, collided head-on with them. Both Luis and Jax were ejected from their car, while the drunk driver was fatally injured at the scene.

Jax was in shock, pacing the highway trying to help his dad who was badly injured. Once help arrived, Luis was taken immediately to Scripps Memorial Hospital and Jax was taken to our good friends at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley. Luis sustained severe injuries, including multiple fractures, head bleeding, collapsed lungs, and a broken spine with the possibility of paralysis. Jax sustained internal bleeding, lacerations, trauma, and a spleen injury requiring surgery. To watch the NBC News story on the accident, click here.

Jax and his veterinary team

Luis, a combat veteran, suffers from PTSD after serving multiple tours in Afghanistan. Jax is his registered therapy dog and a main source of emotional support. “They are best friends that do everything together,” says Luis’s sister, who flew all the way from New York with her mother to be here for Luis and Jax. “Their love is beyond words. Jax has made his life a lot easier and less stressful. If anything happened to Jax, he would be devastated.”  When Luis regained consciousness, his first words were his 3-year-old daughter’s name and “Jax is irreplaceable.”

Jax with his dad and sister

With the support of community donors, FACE was able to assist Jax with receiving emergency care at VSH. VSH did not hesitate in helping Jax and worked with FACE to significantly discount his critical veterinary treatments.

Luis has already undergone multiple surgeries and is progressing each day, but has a long road of recovery ahead of him. It could be 6 months before he can walk again. Jax has been able to visit Luis in the hospital during his recovery.

Jax and his sister

FACE wants to thank everyone for ensuring that Luis has his best friend by his side during this time when the two need each other the most. “Thank you for everything you did for Jax and my brother, says Luis’s sister.  “Words cannot describe how thankful we are. From the bottom of our hearts, our family thanks you.”

Jax with a few of his FACE friends



Meet FACE Success Story Hemi!

Check out this adorable pup and his little lion friend!

Hemi is an 11 year old Pomeranian who was presented to Dr. Tanya Cruz and the emergency team at San Diego’s Veterinary Specialty Hospital after being attacked by another dog. Hemi was then transferred to the VSH surgery specialty department (and FACE Advisory Committee member Dr. Seth Ganz) for treatment of femoral fracture and coxofemoral (hip) luxation.

A FACE grant providing financial assistance for Hemi’s critical veterinary care helped this little guy receive the surgery he so urgently needed.  His post-op care involves sweet snuggles with his favorite stuffed animal!

Join us and our partners at VSH in wishing Hemi a speedy recovery!


Website Raises Awareness About Pet Suffocation Hazards

We’ve all seen funny videos of dogs, cats, and other animals with their heads stuck in potato chip bags or other kinds of food packaging.  But did you ever stop to think about what would happen if your pet got his head stuck in a bag while you were not at home to pull it off?

The website Prevent Pet Suffocation seeks to raise awareness among pet owners about the very real dangers of a seemingly cute situation.  Because may food bags are made from mylar-type materials designed to keep food fresh, these packages can create a vacuum-like seal around your pet’s head as she tries to breathe.

If you are not around to remove the bag, your pet can run around the house in a panic and lose even more oxygen at a faster rate.  Dogs, cats, and other animals can asphyxiate and die in a matter of minutes.

What can you do to prevent this heartbreaking tragedy from happening in your home?  Prevent Pet Suffocation has created an online petition asking Frito Lay to put warning labels on their snack bags.  You can lend your voice to this effort.

Also, check out this infographic for tips on how to prevent suffocation.  It can be as simple as cutting up empty bags and storing open bags in a secure cabinet and not on the kitchen counter.

You can also follow Prevent Pet Suffocation on Facebook to keep up to date on their awareness campaign, and see some very moving posts about people’s beloved pets who have suffered this very sad (and preventable) fate.


Search Dogs Play Important Role in California Mudslide Rescue Operations

Search and rescue dogs are on the front lines as first responders race to find survivors of the recent mudslides in Montecito, California.

The Los Angeles Times reports that there are 8 search and rescue dogs working with their handlers in the search for victims, with more arriving now.

The dogs were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which rescues shelter dogs and trains them for this lifesaving work.  They are provided to first responders free of charge.  The Foundation is continuing operation even though its own facilities were damaged in the Thomas fire.

You can watch a brief video of one of these brave dogs in action on the KTLA News website HERE.

Image: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

FACE Year in Review: 327 Pets Saved to Date

With 2017 quickly drawing to close, FACE staff members have been busy compiling our end of the year statistics.

Here is a snapshot of the San Diego area pets we have helped save via financial grants for emergency veterinary care so far this year:

327 Pets Saved

226 dogs, 100 cats, 1 bird

Most Popular Pet Names

Bear, Bella, Lilly, Luna, and Molly

Medical Conditions Treated

Fracture repairs:  71 cases

Urethral obstructions (catheterization):  39 cases

GI tract foreign body obstructions:  37 cases

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD):  27 cases

Amputation:  24 cases

Miscellaneous:  22 cases

Pyometra (uterine infection):  19 cases

Urethral obstructions (perineal urethrostomy):  18 cases

Femoral head osteotomy (FHO):  14 cases

Hernia or abscess repairs:  11 cases

Laceration repairs:  11 cases

Eye removal:  7 cases

Luxating patella:  6 cases

Rattlesnake bites:  5 cases

Post trauma hospitalization:  5 cases

Wound repair:  4 cases

Difficult births:  4 cases

Mouth and gum disease:  3 cases