Queenie Improving After Surgery

“I want to thank the folks at the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program. They are a credit to the insurance profession. I have been grateful to have a pet insurance plan during these hard times with my dog, Queenie. She recently had surgery and is starting to improve. My veterinarian also thinks highly of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance!” –Celia G., Scranton, PA

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Customer Stories


Dog running with pink ball in mouth

“I adopted Sheila soon after we had to put down our much loved Terrier because we could not afford the operation she required. I signed up for ASPCA Pet Health Insurance the day after we got Sheila. This past year she has had to have two operations for tumors. Thanks to this insurance, we will hopefully be playing fetch with her for a long time!”

- Martina F., Buffalo, NY

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Customer Stories

“It was a no brainer for us to get ASPCA Pet Health Insurance for our Rottweiler. Since then, he was diagnosed with bone cancer in his rear hind leg. We wanted him to have the best quality of life, so we decided to have his leg amputated. Today, he’s doing fantastic and is undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Having ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has allowed us to focus on him instead of worrying about the growing costs of his treatments. The reimbursements have been extremely helpful in making sure we can get our ‘Rottie’ all the care he needs!”


—Submitted by: An ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Pet Parent*


Photo Friday is a weekly column that showcases photos we receive from loving ASPCA Pet Health Insurance customers of their pets. If you want to see your pet featured, please email me!


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Customer Stories

Dr. Saria and team member, Deryl Gage, posing with a pet patient

Last September, Dr. Rebecca Saria was faced with a dilemma: She was told that her employer, a Connecticut-based veterinary practice, could no longer provide a 50% discount on medical care to animal shelters, a community service that she’d been involved with for years.

“Shelters can’t accept new animals until the existing ones are healthy and adoptable. It’s part of the cycle,” Dr. Saria, a graduate of Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, told a local Internet radio/television show. “Un-owned pets need top quality medical care, too.”

Spurred on by her life’s mission to help animals, she quit her job and started Gold Coast Mobile Veterinary Service, a full-service mobile veterinary practice, so she could treat pet patients her way.

“Now, I can provide veterinary care discounts to shelters to help make animals more adoptable, plus utilize whatever method of medicine I see fit to treat the pet patient,” Dr. Saria says.

Dr. Saria cuddling with a pet patient

On the Road
Dr. Saria’s workspace is a used, mobile surgical van equipped with everything you’d find in a normal veterinary practice office, including diagnostic equipment, instruments, computers and a fax machine.

She and her two-person team travel to appointments in the Gold Coast region of Connecticut, which includes neighborhoods along the coast in Fairfield County from Greenwich to New Haven. However, if someone outside of this area really needs her help, she’ll pick up shop and travel there.

“Think of me as an ‘old-style veterinarian,’” Dr. Saria says. “But with a twist.”

And one with a busy schedule, too.

Dr. Saria standing in front of her mobile surgical unit
Photo courtesy of George Gombossy

Once a week, Dr. Saria and her team visit a local animal shelter and provide discounted services to pets in need. Every Wednesday, she holds office hours at Thomaston Feed & Grain, a local store that provides special food for ill pets to help them recover.

Gold Coast also recently partnered with Urban Impact, a neighborhood soup kitchen. On the first Tuesday of every month, the Gold Coast team offers free veterinary care for homeless families’ pets on a first come, first served basis. Services include general check-ups, antibiotic prescriptions and vaccines.

House Calls
Besides wanting to help shelter animals, Dr. Saria also founded a mobile practice so she could honor what she sees as one of the most critical aspects of veterinary care—the interaction between the veterinarian, the pet and the pet parent.

She said it’s important to examine pets in their relaxed home settings and understand their life, including the location of the food and water bowls, the type of bedding the pet sleeps on, temperatures in the home and even air quality. Through these observations, Dr. Saria is able to diagnose problems that may otherwise be missed.

Dr. Saria performing surgery in her mobile unit

For instance, a pet parent recently called Dr. Saria and said her Yorkie wasn’t eating well and was losing weight. The parent had taken her dog to the veterinarian for several rounds of blood work and all of the tests came back normal. Over the phone, Dr. Saria couldn’t get a sense of what might be wrong with the Yorkie either, so she decided to make a house visit.

The minute she stepped in the door, she saw that the little dog was stumbling around. Right away she connected this symptom to the Yorkie’s liver problem.

“Pets can be terrified to leave the comfort of their surroundings. With Gold Coast, I’m able to go into the home and personally connect with animals as a part of the family,” Dr. Saria says. “It’s truly a blessing to help pets this way.”

Dr. Saria and her team will sometimes even perform surgery at a client’s house. This way, pet parents can assist in the procedure and even be there when their animal wakes up to comfort them.

“With human medicine, we’ve figured out that the personal aspect of medical care is so important, so let’s do it with animals as well,” Dr. Saria said. “Veterinary medicine has moved away from that.”

Learn more about Gold Coast Mobile Veterinary Service.

To submit a story about a veterinary practice, email me!

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Veterinary Clinic Spotlight

All through the year, we get flooded with emails and letters from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance pet parents who tell us about times when their pets suffered sudden illnesses or unexpected accidents. Even in the midst of worrisome situations, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance was there to help with part of the veterinary bills.

As we ring in the New Year together, let’s take a look back at a few of the top stories we received in 2010. They’re a touching reminder of the loving bond between pet parents and their pets, and we’re so glad we could be there to protect the furry members of these families.

Because Accidents Happen
“My Bullmastiff, Beatrice, is very inquisitive so I was careful to remove all potential hazards from the house–or so I thought! But one day I came home to find the living room covered with pillow stuffing. Beatrice had demolished three throw pillows. She started vomiting, and I rushed her to the veterinarian who recommended X-rays. I knew it would be costly, but I went ahead anyway. Luckily, Beatrice didn’t have an obstruction, only a belly full of stuffing that passed without surgery. I submitted a claim, and it was promptly covered. Truly, anytime I’ve had to file a claim, it was a breeze. Your staff is very caring, and getting ASPCA Pet Health insurance was one of the best doggie decisions I made.”
—Sara S., Henderson, Nev.

A Helping Hand when Illness Strikes
“We have a lively 3-year-old Calico cat named Tess, who has been covered since we brought her home from a local shelter. One day she got very sick, so we took her to the veterinarian. Over the next few weeks, Tess had more tests and X-rays than we could count, but we wanted to do whatever the veterinarian recommended so we could help her. I’ll admit that each time we entered the veterinarian’s office, I said a silent ‘thank you’ that we had your insurance. Tess is now her energetic self again, and we’re so grateful to our veterinarians and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance!”
—Elizabeth O., Fisherville, Va.

Keeping Pets in Good Health
“Our Westie, Dorothy, hasn’t had any major medical problems, but ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has been extremely helpful with the costs of her check-ups, special visits to the veterinarian for infections, sprains, and itching as well as needed medications.  You make it very easy to file a claim, and replies are prompt and clearly explained. We also feel that Dorothy is not simply a numbered client, but someone whose health you’re genuinely interested in. We’re certainly glad we chose ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.”
—Bob K., Flint, Mich.

In Case of Emergency
“I have an adopted cat named Licorice who’s almost 9. I knew I had to protect her after she ingested a piece of material from a chair, and I had to pay for an expensive surgery to remove it. I’m glad I signed her up because just six months later, she swallowed a small bolt that came off a cat scratcher. I had to bring her to the emergency animal clinic late at night for yet another surgery. Then she suffered from an infection after I took her home. All of this added up to almost $3,000. If it hadn’t been for your insurance paying a portion of my bills, I don’t know how I would’ve cared for Licorice. But she’s happy and healthy today thanks to the emergency veterinarians and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance!”
—Allison P., Philadelphia, Pa.

Do you have a recent story to share? Email me!


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Customer Stories


As we’re dedicated to making a difference for pets, we want to keep you informed about pet health topics and your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Our blog will provide you with fresh, interesting and informative topics—from pet health tips and customer stories, to the latest industry news and a Pet Parent Q&A column. Most of all, we encourage you to share comments and join the discussion!

Meet the Author

Julia H.

Social Media Coordinator

Pet Parent to:

Lucy, an 8-year-old rescued Golden Retriever/Chow Chow mix

Blog Guidelines

While we’ll strive to present all viewpoints on this blog, comments will be reviewed before posting. Offensive or inappropriate language, off-topic remarks and comments containing personal policy information will not be featured.

Also, conditions discussed in this blog aren’t necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. For full coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, please refer to your plan.

As always, if you have a question about your plan, call us at 1-866-204-6764.

*Note: While these testimonials may include examples of recent claims payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.