Schwarzman Animal Medical Center Presents 14th Annual Living Legends Awards

Honoring Companion Animals Who Overcame Major Health Issues

Press Release

(New York, N.Y. – May 18, 2022) The Stephen & Christine Schwarzman Animal Medical Center (AMC) presented its 14th Annual Living Legends Awards today, honoring three pets who overcame seemingly insurmountable health challenges thanks to the life-saving care and treatment they received at AMC, along with their owner’s love and commitment.

Approximately 150 guests attended the event, including Marina Kellen French, Jenny Paulson, Mia Solow, and co- chairs Elaine Langone, Lisa Schiff, and Donna Acquavella. Additional co-hairs included Tina Pendergrast Santi Flaherty, Laura Garner, Michael Heaner, Nancy Kissinger, Sharon Amsterdam Koplin, Emilia S. Krimendahl, Robert Liberman, Ellen Marcus, Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy, Marianne Mebane, Elizabeth Moore, Kane Nussbaum, Katharine Rayner, Elizabeth Gore Ross, Nicole Seligman, Ann Tisch, and Janet York.

“The Living Legends Luncheon is one of my favorite events of the year because it gives us the opportunity to present some of the extraordinary work that goes on at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center every single day,” said Kathryn Coyne, President and Chief Executive Officer at AMC. “We also come together to celebrate and recognize the incredible bond that exists between people and their pets.”

Schwarzman AMC presented awards to the following honorees:

Living Legend Pronto


Pronto, a beautiful, adult Domestic Shorthair cat, was found weak and abandoned in a bodega in March 2020. The good Samaritan who found him immediately sought help from Little Wanderers, a rescue group, and their volunteers rushed Pronto to the Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl Institute for Trauma Care at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center. He presented with a dangerously low heart rate and blood pressure. Diagnostics conducted by the Emergency Room & Critical Care Service determined that Pronto was extremely anemic and his blood was not clotting, often an indication of rat poison ingestion. Pronto was treated in AMC’s Intensive Care Unit by Dr. T.J. Langlois, now a first-year Veterinary Resident in Emergency & Critical Care and the ECC team, where he received three blood transfusions to replace lost blood, and four plasma transfusions to replace clotting factors.

After surviving his near-fatal condition, Pronto was nursed back to health by his foster family, who soon became his forever family. When they brought him back to Schwarzman AMC for his recheck, they received great news – Pronto’s organs were functioning normally, and his health had been fully restored.

Living Legend Charli


Charli, an adorable 11-week-old Goldendoodle, ingested something he shouldn’t have on one of his first outings to the park. When he stopped eating and drinking, his local vet found that not only did Charli have an intestinal blockage due to a foreign object, but he was also in kidney failure due to leptospirosis, a deadly bacterial infection. Refusing to accept the recommendation of euthanasia, the family rushed Charli to the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center where Dr. Nahvid Etedali, Senior Veterinarian and Service Head of Hemodialysis & Extracorporeal Therapies, and a team of specialists went to work.

Charli’s surgery required a delicate balancing act. He would need blood products as well as fluids and medications, but those vital therapies could lead to overhydration due to kidney failure caused by the infection. Dr. Etedali’s team placed a catheter during surgery so dialysis could begin the next day to remove the excess fluid and toxins and allow medical management while Charli’s body healed. Without dialysis, Charli would not have survived the surgery. Charli spent two weeks in the hospital receiving exceptional care from the Schwarzman AMC team, and then returned home to his grateful and loving family.

Jackie Santi Flaherty Award for Courage

The Jacki Santi Flaherty Award for Courage, established by Schwarzman AMC Trustee Tina Pendergrast Santi Flaherty in memory of her beloved dog Jackie, is given annually to a pet who has shown remarkable courage throughout treatment at AMC.

Living Legend Scout


Scout, a sweet, nine-year-old Shih Tzu mix, struggled with collapsed joints in his wrists and ankles as well as lethargy for several years. Initially, Scout was treated elsewhere, but he did not receive an official diagnosis until November 2021, when he was referred to the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center. Dr. Leilani Alvarez, Senior Veterinarian and Director of the Tina Santi Flaherty Rehabilitation & Fitness Service, felt it was essential to diagnose the cause of Scout’s problem to treat it properly. Testing revealed that Scout had an immune- mediated disease called erosive polyarthropathy, similar to rheumatoid arthritis in humans, in which the immune system attacks cells in the joints, causing them to collapse. Dr. Alvarez fitted Scout for customized orthotics and prescribed an immune- suppressant drug to keep his body’s immune system in check. Scout also needed to be treated, both at AMC and by his loving family, to heal severe ulcers on areas of his legs where he had been misplacing his weight. With his wounds healed and orthotics to support his wrists and ankles, Scout is now able to walk and run again.

About the Stephen & Christine Schwarzman Animal Medical Center

The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center (AMC) is the world’s largest non-profit animal hospital with 120+ veterinarians providing the highest quality medical care across more than 20 specialties and services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our mission to provide the best in care, research, and education has been the foundation of our work for over a century. Learn more at


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