Cindy White was out walking her dog, Sandy, when Sandy was viciously attacked by another dog that “came out of nowhere.” There was no help in sight and for 20 minutes White attempted to rescue her beloved dog. Her own arms covered with bites, she finally was able to beat the attacking dog back. Terrified, she ran for help. A friend took Sandy to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital while White went to the Poudre Valley Hospital Emergency Room to receive care for her own injuries.
As soon as she was released from the hospital, White headed to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, expecting the worst – but Sandy was alive. Her whole head wrapped in bandages, Sandy had severe bite wounds and spent five days in the hospital’s Critical Care Unit. For White, this was not an insignificant financial burden. A single mother of three, and a fulltime student, money was a challenge. White’s friend paid part of the bill for Sandy’s veterinary care and put the rest on a credit card. But Sandy’s ordeal was not over.
Several weeks later, after recovering from her injuries, White and a friend took Sandy to an empty dog park. Their two other dogs, who were Sandy’s housemates and companions, went with them to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. But then the unthinkable happened. The two dogs attacked the once alpha dog Sandy, leaving her with injuries that were worse than her first attack.
Sandy would spend another five days in the Critical Care Unit at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and once again White faced a financial challenge. A counselor connected her to the Companion Care Fund, as well as suggested a CareCredit account which would help pay for Sandy’s veterinary bills.
“We just didn’t think we would be able to afford Sandy’s care the second time around, but the Companion Care Fund made it possible,” said White. “It made a horrible situation a little bit better. Sandy is a very loving, caring, compassionate and smart dog who has been a part of our family for a long time and I wanted to do everything I could to get her well again.”
To protect Sandy from any further attacks, White relinquished the two dogs that attacked Sandy the second time. Sandy made a full recovery and now lives a quieter life with her family.
Companion Care Fund
The Companion Care Fund was established in 2000 by the Student Chapter of American Animal Hospital Association. In 2003, the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association got involved and developed it into the current program. SCAVMA contributes to its balance on an annual basis and it has additionally received funds from other sources, including from the annual Fast and Furriest Fun Run held in April.
Fast and Furriest
The 8th Annual Fast and Furriest 5K/1K Run/Walk held April 23 was organized by Professional Veterinary Medical students in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences benefiting animals in need of emergency, life-saving treatments. Proceeds from the run/ walk go to the Companion Care Fund, which helps community members pay for life-saving or emergency procedures performed at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Rory Blume dyed his hair to support the CCF.
Making a Bet
The Companion Care Fund also is supported by private donations, including one organized by Rory Blume, a student caller with the Call-A-Ram fundraising program. Blume was deeply affected by all the stories from people he called on behalf of the Companion Care Fund, and on how the fund helps those in need. He challenged his colleagues to raise $100 to support the Companion Care Fund and then made an irresistible offer: he would dye his hair blue if they were successful. Small donations poured in, and the Call-A-Ram team made their donation in February (and Blume dyed his hair).
Support the Companion Care Fund