About Us

The Story of Us

This is Bruiser, our now 11 year old Yorkshire Terrier. Several years ago my husband and I were driving home from Baltimore when I received a call from my dog sitter telling us that he [the dog] was not feeling well. Panic immediately set in. It was 2am and we were half way between Maryland and Ohio imagining the absolute worst.

We arrived home to find that Bruiser was indeed very ill. Afraid and in tears, I put him in the backseat of my car and raced like a bat out of hell, at better than 90 mph, to the nearest emergency vet. As I was driving, I remember having two distinct thoughts — 1. If I speed by the police, they will have to chase me all the way to the vet and arrest me after I drop Bruiser off because I am not stopping, and 2. There has got to be a better way than this to handle emergencies.

After breaking traffic laws in at least three separate municipalities, we made it to the vet. I am happy to report that Bruiser was (and is) good as new. However, the entire incident has scarred me for life, and I have been obsessed with figuring out how to address this problem, not only with my own pets, but for all pets. I began asking everyone I saw with a pet or those who work with pets, “What would you do if your pet experiences some type of medical emergency or trauma?” Overwhelmingly the answer I received was a resounding “I don’t know.”
So that is how Squad FiftyOne began. We set out to answer that very question: “What would you do?

Incidentally, people always ask how we came up with the name Squad FiftyOne. For those of you who are not old enough to remember, back in ancient times – the 1970s – there was a popular tv drama entitled “Emergency!” This was a show about the daily ins and outs of a L.A. Fire Department Paramedic Unit and the unit was Squad 51. It was one of my favorite shows and calling my business by the same name is just my little way of paying tribute.

You can watch a thrilling episode here: Emergency!

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Yalanda Medina

Principal / CEO

As a long time supporter of animal welfare, it has been a dream of Yalanda’s to provide pets with medical care in emergencies just like that of humans. She is a Cleveland native and parent of a stubborn Yorkie named Bruiser. (see Chief Dog-In-Charge)


Cory Igneczi

Operations Manager

Cory has a passion to keep animals happy and healthy that began as a child. It led him to live out the dream of being a dog musher in Alaska before turning to his profession as a firefighter and EMT. Cory believes animals should receive the highest possible level of care and looks forward to serving the community


Charity Semczyszyn

Lead Veterinary Technician/Manager

A veteran of animal healthcare and practice management, Charity's background includes providing medical services to local animal shelters and rescues.


George Booth

Disaster Management / CPR & First Aid Instructor

Owner of Canine Professional Services, George travels throughout Ohio instructing individuals, animal care facilities, and school children in Pet CPR, Pet First Aid, and Pet Safety. George is also our liaison with local emergency service providers and law enforcement.


Sonny Thompson

Community Outreach / PR

Sonny's experience in community outreach and involvement spans 20 years, from organizing rescues during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to most recently organizing services during the Dakota Pipeline protest. His outreach efforts helps us to better serve our customers including area Seniors and Veterans.


Bruiser Aristotle

Chief Dog-In-Charge

Bruiser is a 7 year old Yorkshire Terrier who fancies himself by keeping the rest of us in line.