Grant from United Animal Nations, Facebook donations and Savannah vet clinic help Good Samaritan pay for Buddy’s lifesaving vet care
SAVANNAH, GA (June 18, 2010) – United Animal Nations (UAN), a national animal protection nonprofit based in California, has awarded an emergency grant to assist with veterinary care for Buddy, a dog about to be shot by his owner before a Rincon man intervened.
Dennis Purcell of Rincon said he was in an Evans County neighborhood when an emaciated white German shepherd with a red, swollen and hairless front leg appeared. The owner arrived and said he was going to shoot the dog because he didn’t want to spend the money to treat him, so Purcell asked if he could take him home instead.
Buddy was about to be shot by his owner when a Good Samaritan intervened and sought veterinary care for the dog’s infected leg.
“His tail was wagging … I could tell this guy was a sweetheart,” Purcell said. “So I offered to take him and find out what was wrong with him so he could be saved.”
Purcell brought the dog, named Buddy, to Eastside Veterinary Hospital on Ash Street in Savannah, where Steven Marlay, DVM and Beth Martin, DVM eventually discovered he was suffering from pythiosis, a fungal infection that went untreated for a long time and rotted his skin. Dr. Marlay said the dog would have starved to death in another three or four days. Buddy was also diagnosed with Addison’s Disease, an endocrine system disorder, and will need daily medication for the rest of his life.
Eastside Veterinary Clinic is graciously providing Buddy’s care at a deep discount and boarding him while he undergoes treatment. Kelley Gargiulo of Savannah was in the vet hospital during one of Purcell’s visits and offered to help raise the $3,000 needed for Buddy’s treatment. She immediately set up a fundraising page on Facebook and contacted United Animal Nations and applied for a LifeLine Rescue Grant to help offset some of the cost; UAN subsequently issued a $300 grant toward Buddy’s care.
“UAN’s grants are intended to bring animals out of crisis and into care by helping rescuers meet the cost of lifesaving vet care,” said UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “We were deeply moved by Dennis’ commitment to Buddy, and by the willingness of the Eastside Veterinary Hospital staff and Kelley, a complete stranger, to help. This is a great example of a community coming together to make a difference for an animal in need.”
Purcell said dozens of people around the country have made donations to Buddy’s care after seeing his Facebook page. He and his brother visit Buddy at the vet hospital daily and report that Buddy has gained an appetite and his infection is healing. “He doesn’t want to go for a walk anymore, he wants to go for a run,” Purcell said. “When we open the door to his kennel he goes nuts, bouncing up and down with his tail wagging.”
In 2009, UAN awarded more than $83,000 in LifeLine Grants to help 509 animals receive lifesaving veterinary care. Applications for LifeLine Grants have increased by 73 percent in the last two years. UAN received a record 2,466 applications in 2009 and approved approximately 21 percent of them. UAN received 2,128 applications in 2008 and 1,428 in 2007.
To learn more about LifeLine, visit www.uan.org/lifeline.
Donations to Buddy’s care can be made on Facebook under “Hope for Buddy” or mailed directly to:
United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at www.uan.org.