Humane Society Silicon Valley Collaboration Transforms Lives and Elevates Talent

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Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 7:00am UTC

Surgery for Chronic, End-of-Stage Ear Infection Performed to Save Senior Dog

MILPITAS, CA, May 16, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) facilitated a critical ear surgery for a 10-year-old German Shepherd and the unique teaching opportunity in this unusually severe case. A collaboration with San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) for surgery not only improved the senior canine's quality of life, but also offered valuable hands-on training to further develop the skill set of HSSV's veterinary team.

After arriving as a stray to the City of San Jose Animal Care & Services, Smokey was diagnosed with severe ear infections and moved out of the municipal shelter and into a foster home. Recognizing the urgency of his condition and the shelter's budgetary constraints, the shelter reached out to HSSV who, in turn, tapped Dr. Leilani Im from SDHS for consultation.

The surgery, known as Total Ear Canal Ablation and Bulla Osteotomy (TECA-BO), involves the complete removal of the ear canal and part of the surrounding bony structures to eliminate chronic and severe ear infections. As with Smokey, it is recommended in cases of end-stage otitis in which treatment is no longer helping due to a bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotics or other underlying conditions predisposing the ears to chronic inflammation and infection.

At an estimated cost of $8,000 to $10,000 per ear, SDHS agreed to perform the surgery at no charge and teach the technique to HSSV staff veterinarians, furthering a commitment to advance shelter medicine and enhance the quality of care for animals in need. Dr. Im, alongside HSSV's veterinary team, performed the intricate procedure which lasted six hours.

"When we learned about Smokey's situation, we wanted help, but we also needed help to do so," said Dr. Cristie Kamiya, Chief of Shelter Medicine at HSSV. "Collaborating with San Diego Humane Society was essential in providing Smokey with the care he needed, and it aligns with our strategic priorities."

HSSV's strategic priorities include changing the game by advancing shelter medicine and cultivating the next generation of veterinary professionals, increasing access to veterinary care and pet services, and helping shelters save more lives. By investing in staff with new skill sets and learning opportunities, HSSV is better equipped to save more lives and ensure shelter animals receive the quality care they need and deserve.

"Smokey's surgery embodies our priorities," said Dr. Kamiya. "His quality of life is dramatically improved, and our staff received invaluable training that will enhance our life-saving efforts."

The partnership between HSSV, City of San Jose Animal Care & Services and San Diego Humane Society symbolizes the collective spirit around the human-animal bond within the shelter and animal rescue community.

About Humane Society Silicon Valley

Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) is an independent, privately funded, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving people and pets for over 90 years. In 2017, HSSV became the first organization ever to earn model shelter status according to the guidelines set forth by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. As an independent non-profit organization, HSSV does not receive funding from Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, or state and federal government entities. HSSV offers quality adoptions, affordable spaying/neutering, vaccinations, microchipping services, pet care services, and education programs to enhance the human-animal bond. Established in 1929, HSSV has adopted more than 500,000 animals into permanent, loving homes. Animal welfare is their top priority and their mission is to save lives, keep families together, and create a better future for pets and their people. For more information about Humane Society Silicon Valley and its life-saving initiatives, please visit

For photos click (credit Humane Society Silicon Valley).

Media can contact HSSV Director of Marketing and Communications, Kelly Rouillard at for questions or interviews.

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