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“I am so very happy I activated the (30-day pet insurance policy). I thought for sure she would never need it, but I filled it out anyway. I wanted to be a good puppy owner. I figured . . . you really never know what could happen! Then, even if nothing happens to her, what’s the worst that could happen from filling out a form? Filling out the form was not a big deal, so why not? I consider that decision one of the most rescuing things I’ve done for Ryka! It really was such a huge relief knowing that I made the right call — not knowing what the future had in store for my cute little pup! You really never think your puppy will be anything but perfect, cute, and happy until suddenly she isn’t — little puppies can get hurt or sick, and sometimes it costs more money than you have available to fix them, especially as I was a 21-year-old at the time.”

– Jessica Clark, owner of Ryka Firebolt’s They Will Be Done

Fun-loving, cheerful, and loves to explore new things — that’s how Jessica Clark describes her Doberman Pinscher, Ryka.

The St. Louis, Mo., resident drove to Arkansas to get Ryka. Traveling the extra miles to find the right breeder was well worth the effort, Jessica said, because she ended up with the “perfect pup.” Jessica strived to give Ryka the best care, taking her breeder’s and veterinarian’s advice along the way. However, even with the most diligent, loving owners, mishaps can occur.

Little Things Happen

Jessica kept 4-month-old Ryka in a puppy-safe crate when unattended. One July morning, Jessica was taking Ryka out of her crate when the puppy’s toe got stuck in the grate. Only lasting a split second until freed, Ryka didn’t seem phased. They went out on their morning walk as normal. It wasn’t until their evening walk that Ryka showed signs that the earlier incident might be a bigger problem. Ryka took one misstep and yelped.

Jessica knew something was wrong and did not hesitate to take Ryka to a 24-hour emergency clinic. When Jessica and Ryka arrived, the veterinarians performed a thorough physical exam on the pup and took a series of x-rays. The x-rays showed that Ryka had indeed fractured a toe (P1 digit 3) on her left front paw. Jessica was devastated because she thought she had ruined her perfect puppy.

Thankfully, the fracture did not require surgery, and the vet recommended a splint and strict crate rest: no running, jumping, stairs, or strenuous activity. This was not an easy task for the owner of a 4-month-old Doberman pup! Jessica was sent home with pain medications, sedatives (to help Ryka rest for her recovery), and the dreaded e-collar. Ryka had periodic vet visits and x-rays along the way before her splint was removed more than one month later.

Help When You Need It

When Jessica registered Ryka with the American Kennel Club (AKC), she activated her free AKC Pet Insurance 30-day certificate that is included with registration. She said she is happy she did! The no-cost benefit came in handy and paid off.

Jessica said Ryka received phenomenal care at the emergency clinic; however, expert care comes at a cost. Emergency and specialty clinics tend to be more expensive than your general practice vet and are often not an option for many pet owners.

For Jessica, this is when having the added pet insurance coverage was helpful. Knowing she had the protection helped her decision to take Ryka to the emergency vet that much easier.

Jessica said filling out the insurance form was the best decision she made. “At the time, I was 21 (years old) and had no means to fully cover what happened to Ryka. I would have taken her to the vet regardless, but I still remember the deep relief I felt when I remembered I activated the policy a week or so prior,” she said.

“The claim process was great. I simply had to get some paperwork together, and, considering the circumstances, I was more than happy to complete anything needed. It was very easy, and we got reimbursement quickly. I was so glad that AKC Pet Insurance stood by that offer. For my puppy, it meant the world.”


Today, Ryka is 3 years old and shows no evidence of her injury. Ryka is a fierce competitor in disc dog and will be competing in conformation soon.

Jessica said she is grateful that she chose an AKC breeder, completed her AKC registration, and activated her insurance policy.

Think of how many other puppies and puppy buyers have benefited from this seemingly small benefit, and how many would if they took the few extra minutes to activate it. Many of these dogs go on to be enrolled in continued coverage to have protection for life.

Puppies bring so much joy into our lives, and while these common diseases can occur, you can treat them with proper veterinary care. Pet insurance from providers like the Accident and Illness plan from AKC Pet Insurance can ease your mind when it comes to expensive vet bills. With custom add-ons for exam fees and an optional Wellness plan that covers vaccination, you can relax knowing your puppy is cared for. Get a quote today and learn more about everything AKC Pet Insurance has to offer.