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2020-09-01 Print

Meet Gidget, a Cherished Emotional support animal who earned a Gift of Mobility from Max’s Helping Paws

When the healing power of animals meets the kindness of the human spirit, magic can happen.


Carmel, CA, September 01, 2020 - Just ask Melinda Moxley, a CSU-Monterey Bay student and tutor who discovered the perfect therapy for her debilitating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — a rescue dog named Gidget.

Melinda found the 8-year old Chihuahua mix wandering the streets of South Central Los Angeles and gave her a safe home in Monterey.

This past May, Gidget grew ill, unable to stand or walk on all four legs. Melinda brought her into Pet Specialists of Monterey and they said she suffered from bilateral patellar luxation, a structural issue she most likely had since birth.

Dr. Michael Dearmin recommended a procedure called Bilateral Lateral Fabellar, which could give Gidget the ability to stand, walk and function normally.

A full-time student who suffers from a disability herself, Melinda was unable to afford such a surgery. So she turned to Max’s Helping Paws Foundation, a local nonprofit that helps families fund treatment for pets in crisis.

Melinda’s initial letter brought tears to the eyes of Max’s co-founder Dyanna Klein. It read, in part: “Gidget is the one I talk to, I laugh with, study next to on the floor, and my ‘co-pilot’ in life. Please help us.”

Klein, who founded the nonprofit in 2016 following the death of her 14-year-old Miniature Pinscher named Max, agreed to help fund the surgery.

“Melinda is a phenomenal pet mom, and we were thrilled to be able to help make the surgery happen for Gidget,” she said.

The procedure went off without a hitch and, according to Melinda, “Gidget is smiling again!”

“She is doing awesome,” said Melinda, who calls Gidget her emotional support animal. “We take daily walks to smell the flowers and she can actually push off of both back legs now to go up and down the curb. This was not possible before her surgery nor was she able to put weight on all four paws.”

Melinda found the time to express her gratitude to Klein and her foundation.

“We are truly grateful,” she said. “Every single day that we go out for our walks, we know it is possible because of you and your help.”

About Max's Helping Paws Foundation
Max's Helping Paws Foundation (MHPF) was co-founded in 2016 by Dyana Klein and her husband and veterinary internist, Dr. Jonathan Fradkin, in memory of their pet, Maximillian.

The foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports all Monterey County veterinary practices to provide financial assistance to clients with pets in need of both critical short-term or longer-term care for chronic illness. Since it first started providing financial assistance in mid-2017, MHPF has approved $275,000 in financial assistance, and has helped hundreds of pet families give their pets a second chance. MHFP is based in Monterey County and serves only Monterey County.

Max’s Helping Paws Foundation
(831) 704-6473
26388 Carmel Rancho Lane, Suite D
Carmel CA 93923

Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455

Contact Info
Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901

Phone: (831) 747-7455