A Winnipeg dog rescue is raising funds to send a puppy with a rare and deadly heart defect to Minneapolis for surgery.
Without it, Manitoba Underdogs Rescue (MUR) says Sonny, a five-month-old Great Dane mix, isn’t expected to live beyond another year or two.
“He’s the sweetest little boy, but I mean, the hypoxia makes it hard for him to do things, simple things as walking up and down the hallway or running around in the backyard,” says MUR events coordinator Tara Maslowsky.
“So we’re going to try to get him the help that he needs.”
Maslowsky says Sonny was surrendered to a Winnipeg emergency vet after being diagnosed with the potentially deadly Parvo Virus, which is when he joined MUR.
Further veterinarian examination also found a grade 4 heart murmur.
The operation he needs, a balloon valvuloplasty, is only available at Veterinary Medical Centre in Minneapolis, and will cost in excess of $6,000.
“The benefits do outweigh the risks,” Maslowsky says.
“The surgery, if it is successful, will definitely prolong his life, and the vets are optimistic that he could possibly live symptom-free. So once we heard those were the benefits, we said ‘yes, let’s do this.’”
Maslowsky says the procedure is already booked for next month, but the price tag remains an issue for the “already cash-strapped” rescue.
To that end, the organization is hosting a photography fundraiser during the weekend of Oct. 16 and 17.
For a fee, people can book a spot to have photos taken by a professional photographer, with proceeds offsetting the cost of Sonny’s heart surgery.
“So I’m signed up with my dog … but you’re more than welcome to bring your family down and get a professional photo taken, or if you just want some photos of your dog,” Maslowsky says.
“I think a lot of people realize this weather is not normal for this time of year, so the park location that we chose, the leaves are beautiful, so it’ll be a nice keepsake.”
All the details can be found on the rescue’s website.
“Every little bit helps towards his surgery, and that’s what we’re hopeful to do.”
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