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!


Meet Yaston: A Very Special FACE Success Story

For 9 years, sweet Yaston has been the devoted service dog for a brave young girl named Sky.  Sky has an incurable mitochondrial disorder and has endured many hospitalizations and operations…with Yaston at her side.

In 2017, Yaston was diagnosed with primary renal hematuria, a rare but serious kidney disease.  Yaston needed a life-saving surgery that is performed by only a handful of veterinary specialists in the U.S.  Sky’s extensive medical bills also made affording Yaston’s surgery a challenge.

FACE teamed with San Diego’s Veterinary Specialty Hospital to arrange for veterinary surgeon Dr. Allyson Berent of New York’s highly regarded Animal Medical Center to fly to San Diego and perform Yaston’s surgery at no cost to the family.

Yaston is now recovering and back home with Sky and her family, where he can continue to provide her with the love and support she has come to rely upon.

Thank you to our wonderful donors and veterinary partners for saving Yaston!


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