Shamus’ Story – Vet bills and beyond

Shamus’ Story Jim Ward | Founder of Adopted Pet Discounts & proud owner of Shamus

Shot with Shamus
Shot with Shamus
10 weeks
10 weeks
Shamus Leg Post Surgery
Shamus Post FHO Surgery
The Thank you Face
The Thank you Face


Hello and Thanks for taking interest in helping adopted animals, and their owners connect with local discounts.  While I hope you have taken advantage of the site to find its core features helpful, and valuable to making quick decisions to save money and your pet.  I want to take this time to tell a story about my Dog Shamus and the reason I created this business. Though animals cannot speak for themselves, I will tell you the story of my brave, Adopted dog.

To the left, you’ll see my best friend… and admitted fur child, Shamus. While it is true you can’t buy love, you can absolutely rescue it!  The story begins as Shamus’ mother was found by a highway and taken to a shelter, it was determined she was pregnant, and I adopted months later at 8 weeks old.  That little runt has been the best thing to ever come into my life always by my side. Now, some dogs are the runts, and we accepted Shamus for who he was. But I must admit, I had no idea it was going to be such a tough time for Shamus growing up!

At 6 months old as I was just graduating from Western Michigan University, we noticed Shamus had hurt his hips and wasn’t feeling well. We took him to the vet, got evaluated, had X rays and received the diagnosis he has SEVERE HIP DYSPLASIA as well as intense Arthritis… not so good for a 6 month old pup. 🙁

Unfortunately this was not the end, the vet actually misdiagnosed Shamus. After another few days went by, we realized Shamus could no longer walk without help.   We rushed to another the vet and after several blood tests and almost $1,000 later, we still didn’t know what was wrong.   After another day we got a 3rd opinion and this vet recommended to take an antibiotic pill to fight infections – THIS Worked, but also developed a softball size abscess on his hip, Which later burst causing an yet another emergency vet visit.  Now this visit as on a holiday and after hours on a Sunday which cost 3 times the amount as normal!

Shamus was unable to walk (even needing help to go outside to do his business) It was a long 4-5 months of recovery from that one nasty infection that almost took his life. Unfortunately after spending $2,900, he still needed 2 hip surgeries estimated to be from $2,800 – $5,000 EACH by Michigan State University.

That estimate put me potentially over $10K and he is only 6 months! How can this be?  I have heard many other stories about dogs with cancer costing thousands as well, so what can we do about it?

As a new graduate I didn’t have the kind of money and needed to find another option.   After doing a lot of research and calling almost a hundred places, in and out of state, I was able to find a MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE rate.  Now my findings provided me with an orthopedic surgeon who had over 30 years of experience.   In the end, the cost of most vet care is expensive, however my findings told me that not all places are equal, both in price as well as expertise.   Unfortunately there was no way for Pet owners to browse and “shop for services” based on their budget.  But we hope to change that!

Our goal is to help make adopting and caring for animals more affordable. Allowing for more families to feel they have options and more information at their fingertips in times of emergency.

Our site focuses on the needs of pet owners, in the POST ADAPTION Space! We can’t stress enough how important it is, because to be honest, there is not much assistance after the adoption process.  We strive to help owners find and compare pet services based on pricing, reviews, ratings, education, experience, and work history all in in one place.

We want to help reduce and eliminate the 2.7 million animals annually euthanized in the US, and lastly we aim to discourage people from giving injured or sick animals back to the shelter by providing affordable care.

Through Shamus’ story I hope others will realize that there are alternatives to helping your pets in pain. Don’t let the cost be the only thing from a healthy, happy pet!   Help us create a better network of information for Adopted Pet Owners!

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