"She wagged her tail when she came in," she says. "If you look at the size of your hand, that's how big she was."
Countless X-rays followed, along with acupuncture, chiropractic procedures and a battery of veterinary treatments.
Gem was also outfitted with a special mechanical wheelchair that allowed her to pull herself on her front legs.
But Tamminen realized Gem needed more.
"We did everything that was offered here for her," she says. "But it wasn't enough to keep her going. We just don't have the equipment up here."
And so Gem was once again on the move - this time to Carter's Forever Rescue & Sanctuary in Bracebridge, Ontario.