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'She was so smart': Coquitlam student faces $12,000 vet bill after losing puppy to virus

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been started to help the student pay a $12,000 vet bill for his puppy after it went into septic shock from a parvovirus infection, despite the efforts of an emergency vet — now the Coquitlam student is worried about paying his bills
Daniel Chan Hyuk Park and Youna
Daniel Chan Hyuk Park is mourning the loss of his puppy Youna, shown here, while facing a $12,000 vet bill for efforts to cure her of parvovirus. The dog eventually had to be euthanized after going into septic shock. Now the Coquitlam student is worried about paying his bills.

A Coquitlam BCIT student is reaching out to the community for support after his sick German Shepherd puppy died despite heroic efforts to save her from deadly parvovirus. 

Daniel Chan Hyuk Park got the puppy in early March to keep him company while he completed his BCIT Architectural Building and Technology diploma.

Park, who’s from South Korea, is now grieving the loss of his loving companion, and said he's now struggling to pay back the $12,000 vet bill.

“I am really not the kind of person to ask or accept help,” Park admitted in the Tri-City News, but with the bill hanging over his head, he started a GoFundMe fundraiser last week.


It’s already generated more than $4,000 in four days, helping Park deal with his grief and some of his finances as he tries to pay back the vet bill while also paying for rent and food while he finishes up his semester at BCIT.

With the stress of finals and projects still ahead, Park is finding his way out of his grief, thanks to community support.

“People I haven't talked to in years, their family, their friends have been so supportive through this time.”

Still, it’s been a struggle. On his GoFundMe page, Park recounts how the puppy became sick not long after he brought it home and began training the little Shepherd. 

“I was so proud of her as she was smart,” Park wrote, “she already learned how to go potty outside and would react to her name.”

But soon the dog stopped eating and had extreme diarrhea, and when the vet recommended a test because another Shepherd puppy had recently tested positive for the contagious disease, Park had to come to grips with the awful news.

“I took her to the hospital at 4 a.m. in the morning, to where she was hospitalized until her final days,” he said.

Even now, though, Park is thankful for the vet’s intervention, who offered a plasma transfusion from her own dog, who was a parvovirus survivor, in a last desperate attempt to cure the puppy.

However, Youna went into septic shock, and on Thursday, March 18 “there was no chance for her recovery and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to euthanize her.”

Having finished his practicum, Park hopes to get a job and pay off the rest of the bill; in the meantime, he’s grateful for any support he gets.

“Honestly, I'm quite taken aback by the number of people that want to help even though it has nothing to do with them,” he said.