Fundraiser for Viola's Medical Expenses

I am trying to raise funds to help pay for emergency hospital bills and future care and treatment for my sweet dog Viola. She and her brother Sebastian came into my life early in 2016, not long after my mom Susan passed away. 51873600_1602619417535883_r.jpegHaving lost my mom fairly suddenly in 2016 after losing her fight with cancer, I took over care of both Viola and Sebastian after my brother moved away, unable to take them with him. At first I felt burdened as they were not my pets, then quickly grew to really care for both of them as my own. I became especially attached to Viola when she was stung by a bee from a beehive in our backyard. She had an allergic reaction so I ran her to the emergency vet immediately. Though the bees were here first, I realized that this was not a safe situation for Viola and the rest of our pets, and found a new home for the bees with a local beekeeper friend. Ever since then I've been very protective of her (a second sting, given her first allergic reaction, could be fatal) and felt we had formed a special connection. Having both Viola and Sebastian to care for has given me something to focus my attention on, as I deeply miss having my kids close to me since they live far away in Montana. The dogs have been a welcome and loving family focus in the four years since my mom passed. They were a major comfort to me this past year after losing my dad to complications related to Alzheimer's Disease in late 2019, who I cared for at home since my mom's passing, and since I also began recovery from alcohol and drug addiction on May 3rd, 2019. I am happy to announce that on November 3rd, 2020 I will be 18 months clean and serene! Needless to say, it has been a challenging four years for me.

Viola is very dear to me, like a daughter. Since taking over care of her and her twin brother and litter mate Sebastian, I've made sure to give them the most loving home I can offer, especially since they had been abandoned by both of their previous parents.

This past Friday evening, October 9th, Viola and Sebastian got into a sibling spat while eating dinner, and suddenly Viola put out a series of piercing yelps and could not walk. When I found her she was floundering on the floor, and not knowing what was wrong, I thought she had suffered a stroke or some other life-threatening injury. I quickly took her to the local emergency vet, who could not help her due to their patient load. They referred me to City of Angels Veterinary Specialty Center in Culver City. After a few hours of waiting and evaluation, they diagnosed her with a spinal injury and recommended that I see a neurosurgeon at their sister hospital in Woodland Hills. The cost for this initial exam was $180, however I was given an estimate of $4,497 for Viola’s nerological evaluation, medications, intensive care and MRI, as well as an estimate of another $5,500 if she were to need neurosurgery. I decided that I needed to know if Viola could be helped, and if I could return to her a life of love and joy with me and her brother Sebastian. I went ahead and had the MRI done at Access Specialty Animal Hospital in Woodland Hills, not knowing how I would be able to juggle this unforeseen bill with my other personal and familial responsibilities. On Saturday, October 10th, after waiting patiently overnight for the news, the neurosurgeon said that Viola had suffered a "hydrated nucleus pulposus exstrusion", otherwise known as a "Type 3" or "missile" herniation of the disc between her thoracic vertebrae’s, #11 and #12. Thankfully she would not need spinal surgery. She must have contorted or tensed up during the spat with her brother, essentially causing the thoracic disk between these vertebrae to bulge so abruptly that it sent a “missile” fragment into the spinal cord, causing bruising and inflamation of the spinal cord and paralyzation of her hind legs and tail. As painful as this was to hear, I was somewhat relieved that I could care for her at home and not experience a doubling of this unexpected vet bill. That being said, a "Type 1" herniation or bulging of the disc could have been surgically repaired, giving her a higher chance of a full recovery, so the news was kind of a mixed bag. Viola is now home and on the road to recovery. I was so happy and encouraged to find that in her fist day home, she had regained her ability to control her urine, and pooped outside for the first time!51873600_1602624154244449_r.jpeg

I live a simple life at my family home here in Torrance, CA. I am a dedicated father to my son and daughter, who live with their mother in Montana. I want to help my dog, Viola, but do not know how I can afford this bill and her future care and rehabilitation. I would be devastated if I were to lose her, especially if it was something I knew I could prevent, which made it all the more important for me to do everything I could to make her well again. This was a hard financial decision for me as I haven't been able to earn more than about $15K per year for the past several years, and am currently living on some savings while trying to find work during this Covid-19 nightmare we are all going through. My love for Viola surpassed my financial fears, so it was a no brainer to get her the treatment she needed. My pets are my family.

Can you please help me with a donation of whatever amount is right for you so I can afford to pay for this bill and her future care? All the money raised will go to covering the cost of her treatment, and any funds raised beyond the cost of the initial vet bills will go to her future care and helping me to be able to stay home with her over the next four to six weeks, which are crucial to her recovery and regaining the ability to walk. Thank you so much, and please feel free to share with your friends and family on social media.


  • Patrick Fargher 
    • $50 
    • 7 d
  • Philip J Franchini  
    • $50 
    • 7 d
  • Michael Andrulis 
    • $20 
    • 8 d
  • Catherine ODea 
    • $50 
    • 9 d
  • Wayne E Pemberton Jr 
    • $40 
    • 9 d


David Stenhouse 
Torrance, CA
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