[Guest post by Andrea Logan]
The story of how the Valley community helped a dog named Chewy started with a call from a good Samaritan.
I received that call as a member of Valley Animal Partners (VAP), an all-volunteer nonprofit in the Valley that started in 2005 to help pets of low-income families, seniors and veterans. One of our programs is an emergency veterinary care fund.
The gentleman who called had met Terry and his dog, Chewy while walking in Tanner Park in North Bend. Chewy was in obvious need of veterinary care for a large tumor. The good Samaritan started making calls. He discovered VAP and called my number.
I told him about our emergency fund and gave him some other ideas. I also told him that we use Dr. Shahi of Snoqualmie Valley Animal Hospital in Fall City for our clients. He called Dr. Shahi as well.
The next day, I received a call from Chewy’s owner, Terry. He explained that he was injured on the job and is now on disability and living in his van. He had never been homeless before. He knew Chewy needed help but did not have the funds to pay for the surgery. Other veterinarians he spoke to quoted him $3,000 for the surgery Chewy needed.
VAP is a small nonprofit with limited resources that can cover $300 per family annually.
As a wonderful human, Dr. Shahi agreed to do the surgery with no guarantee of payment other than the $300 VAP could contribute. This is not the first time he has shown such amazing generosity.
As generous as that was, it didn’t sit well with me. So, I put out a plea for help. I started a GoFundMe page asking for contributions to cover the rest of Chewy’s estimated $1,500 surgery.
The response was swift and overwhelming. Within just a day, kind pet lovers in our community donated $1,425, exceeding the $ amount I had hoped to raise of $1,200.
Email after email popped into my inbox with the donations and people’s well wishes.
At about 10 p.m. that night, I saw a message from another donor in the Valley. She and her husband (who wish to remain anonymous) have a foundation and had asked that $1,000 be sent to Valley Animal Partners. In addition, that donation was eligible for a $1,000 match from his employer. At that point, I was overwhelmed with emotion – so much kindness in response to a dog suffering and needing our help.
Chewy had his surgery and is doing well. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for bringing him and his owner much-needed comfort. When I called Terry to tell him the good news, he was initially speechless and kept saying, “This is amazing, thank you.” Terry said that he felt like his luck was starting to turn. He was really touched.
And the original good Samaritan? When he found out Terry was helping Dr. Shahi with maintenance projects to work off some of his bills, he showed up with his tools to support him and worked alongside him all day.
Chewy’s owner had told me that he just moved to North Bend. What a unique and heart-warming welcome from the people in the Snoqualmie Valley to a man and his dog down on their luck. It all started with one simple act of kindness that grew. I am so proud to be a part of this community.
Valley Animal Partners runs solely on donations. If you’d like to support their mission, visit https://www.valleyanimalpartners.org/donate.
[Andrea Logan from Lead Dog has been active in animal welfare for over 20 years and currently focuses on rehabilitating challenging foster dogs and helping dog owners with training and behavioral issues. Her passion is assisting people to build a better bond with their dogs. For help with your dog, visit Lead Dog’s Facebook page]