Secret Santa takes care of vet bills

Brittany W.
Brittany W. Verge
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Tracy and Kevin Samuels sit in front of their Christmas tree with Jasper the cat.  Jasper had a close call and required expensive life saving surgery that was paid for by a Secret Santa.

When Tracy and Kevin Samuels’ cat Jasper, got desperately ill, a secret Santa (or Santas) stepped in to foot his bill.

On Dec. 13, Tracy Samuels noticed that four year-old Jasper wasn’t feeling very well.  She tried some hairball medicine thinking he perhaps was struggling with a hairball.  When Jasper continued to vomit, she took him for an emergency visit to a vet clinic.

The veterinarian noticed a blockage inside Jasper and gave him more medicine and antibiotics and believed that would be the fix for the cat.

Jasper seemed to be doing better because he had been given an anti-nausea pill as well but by the next day, unbeknownst to the Samuels’ Jasper’s blockage had moved through his body a bit and folded over and got caught again near his pancreas.

By Sunday, Jasper was much sicker and Kevin had to take him to the Nova Vet Clinic in Bridgewater during the storm. 

“They had to remove it, it was pretty severe surgery, he had a five to six inch incision,” says Tracy.

Jasper ended up requiring surgery on Monday and needed to stay at the clinic for five days and be tended to.  The Samuels’ knew the emergency visit, surgery, and care was going to be quite costly

“We knew it was going to be bad and we were worrying,” says Tracy.

Throughout Jasper’s illness, Tracy had been asking for advice on when to seek vet attention on Facebook and continued to give friends updates on Jasper’s condition. 

She and Kevin ended up going to the bank to manage some finances, guessing their bill would probably reach around $2,000.  Some family members said they would also pitch in to help out because it was so close to Chrismas.

“The surgery alone was $1,000,” says Tracy.

When the couple arrived in Bridgewater to pick up Jasper, the veterinarian told them there was a “problem” with their bill.

“He passes me this paper and a Christmas card,” says Tracy.

The Christmas card said Jasper’s bills were paid in full and it was signed from Santa.

“Of course I started crying and Kevin and I just looked at each other and it was just like out of a Hallmark movie or a Christmas special, with the snow just softly falling out the window and just hugging the cat,” says Tracy.

No one has come forward as their Secret Santa but Tracy suspects it may have been a few people as the vet told the couple that they have “some very nice friends.”

“It just would have ruined my Christmas if he would have passed away,” says Tracy.

Organizations: Nova Vet Clinic

Geographic location: Jasper, Bridgewater

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  • Doris Taylor
    December 24, 2013 - 08:18

    There is nothing like good friends and thankfully helped out this kitty in a time of need. Merry Christmas to everyone who helped out with the vet bill.

  • Debbie Spinney
    December 23, 2013 - 15:55

    That is awesome glad Jasper is doing great...Merry Christmas to you all....Debbie (Boudreau) Spinney

    • chris
      December 24, 2013 - 13:36

      there are 1000s of homeless people that could of got a meal out of that money. Or clothes for the winter. Were as there are many healthy cats at the pet shelter they could of had for next to nothing. Well if you can't afford the pet don't have one. Thats what keeps me from getting a dog. I love dogs an would love to have one. Butcan't so I volunteer at the pet shelter. It comes down to if u can't afford to party on the weekend then u shouldn't.

    • Jeff
      December 29, 2013 - 11:16

      same could be said about anything. Jasper deserved to live just as much as any of us and I am glad people helped her out. The $50,000 Gerald Keddy gave to the Astor Theater could of put food on peoples plate and heat in their homes this winter. I don't think people around Queens County look out their doors and realize that this place is not as well off as our Mayer would like us to believe.

    • Jeff
      December 29, 2013 - 11:16

      same could be said about anything. Jasper deserved to live just as much as any of us and I am glad people helped her out. The $50,000 Gerald Keddy gave to the Astor Theater could of put food on peoples plate and heat in their homes this winter. I don't think people around Queens County look out their doors and realize that this place is not as well off as our Mayer would like us to believe.

  • Carl Shannon
    December 23, 2013 - 15:26

    Wonderful. But it doesn't surprise me, there are a lot of wonderful people around here.