The flight is booked, the suitcases are packed and visions of fun in the sun are close to becoming a reality. But what happens if pets who stay behind get sick right before—and during—a vacation? Here is a story about a family who found themselves in this tough spot, and how they got through it.

Scott M. and his wife, Shelly, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa,* were looking forward to a trip to sunny Colorado to celebrate a friend’s wedding. Luckily, the couple had a caring neighbor who agreed to watch their two big dogs—Nancy and Ben—while they were away.

The day before leaving, Nancy started to throw up, so her pet parents took her to the vet for antibiotics. Even though Nancy was doing better, leaving while knowing their dog wasn’t 100 percent healthy left the couple feeling anxious.

Once in Colorado, the dogs' pet parents called to find out that not only was Nancy feeling worse, but Ben had also started to throw up. The neighbor was worried about them getting dehydrated as neither could keep down food or water. With both dogs sick—and hundreds of miles away—Shelly and Scott felt helpless. They told their neighbor to take the dogs to the vet and do whatever it would take to make Nancy and Ben feel better. 

“It was so nice to have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance because we knew it was going to be expensive. When you are away from home and can't get back, it gave me a sense of calmness to know that my dogs were being taken care of,” Shelly told us. “You can't put a price tag on your pet, but medical care for them can get expensive.” 

Knowing they had the support of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance—as well as an extremely supportive neighbor—during this difficult circumstance, they were able to enjoy their friend’s wedding and return home with a lively greeting from two healthy pups.

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Customer Stories


6/30/2011 12:34:14 PM #


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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!

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Julia H.

Social Media Coordinator

Pet Parent to:

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

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*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.