Dog owner's joy after strangers raise £20,000 to help save beloved pet's life - 'It's a miracle'
A dog owner desperate to keep his beloved pet alive has thanked strangers who donated more than £20,000 to save her life.
Jaxon Feeley launched a GoFundMe appeal on 27 January after his two-year-old Weimaraner, Rambo, went into hypovolemic shock - an emergency condition in which severe blood or other fluid loss makes the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body.
Feeley said he had had to take Rambo to the vet six days before after she began vomiting repeatedly throughout the night.
Rambo started to deteriorate rapidly and, as the vets monitored her, the bills started stacking up. Feeley, a prison officer, said that while the initial £6,500 had been covered by insurance, the bill had since risen to £11,500 and intensive care costs were approximately £1,000 per day.
Feeley set up the crowdfunder fearing he could not pay the mounting bills, saying at one point that he was prepared to sell his house to raise the necessary cash.
After sharing it with friends and family, it quickly went viral and people from across the country began to donate.
On 4 February, Feeley posted an update revealing that Rambo was now home.
He wrote: "Over the last three days, Rambo has pulled off a miracle. Hour by hour she has increased her oxygen efficiency, started eating and drinking, her lungs are slowly recovering and we started to see that beautiful little personality resurface.
"Yesterday, after doing every test under the sun and assessing her incredible progress over the last few days, the team of staff at the vets have been gobsmacked by the power of love, presence and true fight for life.
"My little angel is by no means all better, it will be a long road to recovery for her and she still requires 24/7 observation at this point along with a significant amount of medication. However, we did what we said we would, we came home.
"If anything has made me believe even more that real hope and fight can bring you through hell it is this little girl. Life can change in an instant, anyone who is taking that for granted or not grasping life with both hands please take a look in the mirror, ask yourself some questions and start fighting for your own life."
He added: "There are no words to express how grateful I am for everyone’s love, support & donations over the last 2 weeks. It genuinely means more than you will ever know. These dogs have saved my life more than once and I will stop at nothing to save theirs. Thank you for everything from the bottom of our hearts."
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Here were some of the comments on the GoFundMe page set up by Feeley:
Alisdair Castle-Smith: "My dog is my first born. Don’t how I would feel in your position mate. All the best to the little woofer and your family."
Christopher Tewkesbury: "From one dog owner/lover to another, no words can describe the ache you are going through. If I was ever in your shoes, I'd pray this many generous and thoughtful people would help."
Ross Hepburn: "I've been in this situation. Spent thousands over and above the insurance payout trying to save my dog Toby. Dogs are family and you'd do anything for them. Wishing Rambo a speedy recovery!"
Katrina Grears: "Having reading your update, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad your beautiful baby is home. Ive fundraised for my pooch in the past; I can identify with how you’re feeling. If my contribution isn’t used towards medicine and treatments if required then lots of toys and treats for your gorgeous fur baby. Well earned I’d say! Sending hope and well wishes and lots of love."
Anton Jones: "I had to pay 2k to save my cats life. My mam is a single parent struggling and she couldn’t afford it. I’m 20 and had put away 3k for a house I used 2 of it to help my mam. I know the feeling hope rambo gets well soon."
Sandra Morgan: "I have a Weim myself & know how precious they are. The very best wishes to you & your family & I cannot fault you on your love and loyalty to your dog. Good vibes sent your way & lots of love."
Rebecca Layfield: "You’re an amazing fur dad, I hope this small donation helps Rambo so she can continue to fill your heart with joy for many more years. Sending you lots of love and strength from a doggie lover in Australia."
Desiree MacDonald: "I can’t afford much at the moment but I’m so proud of you being such a great doggie dad and Rambo’s amazing fighting spirit. Almost like you knew her to be a fighter from the beginning, hey?! Sending love and what I can from near (her namesake’s hometown) Hope, BC, Canada."