Kodiak's Story - When Berenice started looking for a brother or sister for Princess, the family’s Wheaten terrier, her daughter said she wanted a big dog to run and play with.  They got their wish with Kodiak (or Kodi for short) a four month old Husky mix they adopted from PetSmart.  Kodi grew into a 60lb bundle of fur and fun with ice-blue eyes that the family quickly fell in love with. 

After a year or so, Berenice noticed that, some days, Kodi would limp and find it difficult to keep up with his friends in the park.  On advice from their vet, they cut back on exercise. On and off over the next four years, Kodi would recover and then go lame again. It broke their hearts to see him not being able to play with the other dogs.

Then, in December last year, Kodi lay down in the park and wouldn’t budge.  Berenice’s dog park friends helped carry him home but Kodi was in pain and wouldn’t get up. Berenice had to carry him up and down stairs every day just to get him outside. Kodi had ruptured the rear cranial cruciate ligaments in both legs, an important ligament in the stifle (knee) joint. 

Surgery would be expensive and, even though Berenice was working full time, money was tight. If she couldn’t raise the money for surgery, Berenice was advised to put Kodi to sleep.  Berenice couldn’t give up on Kodi.  She searched for other options and even set up a GoFundMe site.  But she was still short on funds and things looked bleak for Kodi. Then Berenice contacted the VCA SFVS hospital who told her about SFAfA and the Ingrid Tauber Fund for Animals.

With a grant from SFAfA and a generous match of donated services from VCA SFVS, Kodi had surgery in January. Recovery was slow and Berenice, her daughter and nephew slept in shifts at Kodi’s side for the first two weeks.

“But now he’s a different dog.  He’s so happy and plays with the other dogs.  We love him and he’s a part of our family”.  Berenice says Kodi is only here today “because of a lot of good people” and wants to thank all of SFAfA’s donors and the SFVCS team who saved his life.

A big shout out to Dr. Polidoro and all the team members at VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists whose work with SFAfA helps give animals like Kodi another chance at life.


No matter what the amount, your tax-deductible gift will make a difference. Does your employer have a matching contribution program? Consider including Community Initiatives / SFAfA in that program. Your dollar could go even further! To donate, visit or send a check payable to Community Initiatives/SFAfA to Community Initiatives/SFAfA 1000 Broadway, Suite 480, Oakland,CA 94607. Donations made to Community Initiatives on behalf of SFAfA are tax-deductible.

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