February 15th, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator
Micayla was devastated when her guinea pig passed away. Not only had they shared five wonderful years together, but she had adopted him shortly after moving away from home – a little partner on the first steps of her adventure into adulthood. His loss left a guinea pig-sized hole in her heart, and only after adopting three more piggies did she feel complete once again. She’d always found guinea pigs to be sweet, cuddly creatures, but one of her new girls was perhaps the most affectionate.
Selene was a huge comfort to Micayla, especially so when she would nestle on Micayla’s chest and purr contentedly while being petted. There had been a heavy cloud of uncertainty over their home recently: in the midst of grieving her loss, Micayla had been undergoing testing for a potential liver tumor. Her anxiety grew as her medical bills ballooned before even receiving a diagnosis – never mind the possibility of needing to pay for cancer treatment. But being with Selene brought her back into the moment, where for the time being all she needed to do was pet her sweet girl. Even her anxious dog Yogi felt the special love of the piggies – he adored Selene and her sisters, Fay and Lilith, and could be found fast asleep next to their cage every night!
Unbeknownst to Micayla, Selene somehow injured her eye in her cage one day, the likeliest culprit being a rogue piece of hay. The eye had become so swollen that it bulged out of its socket, and because she wasn’t able to close her eyelids, it soon dried out. After the veterinarian examined Selene, they determined the best course of action would be to remove the eye surgically and spare her any more discomfort, but it would need to happen as soon as possible. They scheduled the surgery for one week out, and sent Micayla home with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication for Selene.
With her growing medical debt and all of her savings consumed by just a fraction of those bills, Micayla was overwhelmed by the prospect of needing to pay for an expensive surgery to save Selene’s life. She knew she was unlikely to be approved for a loan because of her debt, which meant she would have to seek out compassionate and generous people who would understand how important the life of one little guinea pig could be. Fortunately, she found RedRover – or, as she put it, “a bright light in such a terrible situation.”
After her application for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant had been approved, Micayla brought Selene back to the veterinarian to have the eye removed. The surgery itself was a success, but at one point Selene’s oxygen supply ignited while she was under anesthesia, leaving her with significant burns on her nose and upper lip. It was an abrupt mishap the veterinarian had never experienced before, and they went above and beyond to ensure Selene was okay throughout the surgery and during her initial recovery at the hospital. Micayla’s beloved guinea piggie baby had been through so much over the past week, but soon Selene was home with the family and healing beautifully from the most soothing spot of all: her warm place on Micayla’s chest, close to her heart.
We are honored to keep families like Micayla, Selene, Fay, Lilith, and Yogi together through crisis – a feat that wouldn’t have been possible without kindhearted people like you. Thank you for committing to our lifesaving mission and making Happy Tails like a reality! ♥️