Sometimes a human-interest story can take a canine shape.
Last week at the Prendergast Library, a patron entered the building with a puppy that seemed to be in a great amount of pain.
"The dog didn't look good at all, and it showed signs of abuse and negligence," said Ashley Moran, library page. "My co-worker, Mary, called Pick of the Litter in Falconer, and they came to our rescue."
The following day, Pick of the Litter had the dog, which now goes by the name of "Lucky," X-rayed. He seemed to be limping on a front leg, and it was clear that something about that leg was causing much of his pain. After the X-ray, it was revealed that Lucky had been shot in the leg several times. The bullet fragments had shattered his elbow and had dispersed throughout his leg and chest.
"The veterinarian said he needed to have his leg amputated since the particles could not be removed," said Moran. "Perhaps even worse, infection had already set in, so it needed to be amputated immediately."
According to Moran, the amputation cost $200. She was happy to say that, thanks to the generosity of others, the money for Lucky's amputation has been raised in full. However, she was quick to say that Lucky's battle is far from over.
"Most dog amputees experience extreme fear and confusion after losing a limb," said Moran. "They don't understand what is happening, and they don't understand why they can no longer walk. I fear this is going to be especially hard for Lucky, as he is a puppy and will no longer be able to jump around and play like he would like to."
Once Lucky recovers from the amputation surgery, he will need the aid of a "wheelchair" to help him remain mobile. Such a device can cost anywhere from $400 to $500, which is unfortunately too expensive for Moran to purchase by herself.
"I know this is a big goal, but I'm hoping the money can be raised for this device," said Moran. "After all the terrible things he has been through in his short life, he deserve to be comfortable again in his own body."
Once Lucky's amputation occurs, he will need to be immobile during his recovery, which could take anywhere from a few weeks to a month. To aid in his recovery, he will need prescription pain medication, food, treats, toys and other items to help him grow strong again.
It is Moran's goal to have the money for Lucky's wheelchair by December. She is asking for as much support from the community as possible, and wants everyone to know that every donation is appreciated and no donation is too small.
Those interested in helping Lucky walk again can visit the Prendergast Library or call 484-7135 for more information. Residents are also encouraged to keep an eye out for "Lucky jars" at area businesses which have agreed to help Moran fundraise.
Currently, A Page in Time, Clearwater Aquarium & Pet Supply, Phil N' Cindy's Lunch, Sandee's Bakery and Deli, the faculty and staff at Ring Elementary School and Southwestern Elementary School, and the Prendergast Library have all made contributions to help pay for Lucky's wheelchair. Additionally, any businesses interested in making a contribution should contact Moran at 397-6259 for more information.
"I want to thank everyone in advance for everything," said Moran. "Without help from the (community), Lucky wouldn't stand a chance. Regardless of the issue, it never fails to amaze me how this community can come together to help those in need. It really gives me so much hope."