Sacramento veterinarian performs surgery to help severely abused dog

7:42 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - A severely-abused German Shepherd from Alaska will be able to eat normally again, thanks to a successful 4-hour surgery by a Rancho Cordova veterinarian.

Thor is a German Shepherd/Husky mix Teresa Downing found though a Craigslist ad posted by a woman in Fairbanks, Alaska. When Downing answered the ad, she saw photos and videos of Thor's crooked snout and jaw fused shut, and knew she had to act. It's unclear how or why the woman who posted the ad had custody of Thor.

"[The woman who posted the Craigslist ad] emailed me a video of him trying to eat, and I called her back and said 'I'll be there ASAP to pick him up,'" Downing said. "Twelve hours later, he was at my house and a month later, we're here."

The Arctic German Shepherd Rescue in Fairbanks helped connect Downing and Thor with Rancho Cordova veterinary surgeon Robert Runyan. When he heard Thor's story, Runyan offered to perform the surgery.

"It's not every day you get a dog flown in from Alaska to do a surgery on him, especially one that's this beautiful."

Runyan explained that Thor suffered serious injuries to his face, and as a result of improper healing, the dog has not been able to open its mouth in six months.

Thor's surgery is not cheap. Including airfare, Teresa had to raise $5,500 to make the 3,000 mile trip with Thor. She turned to the internet to help raise money a week ago. More than 100 donors pitched in to cover the cost of the surgery and the trip in just seven days.

That's nearly $800 raised each day.

"I just thank all the people that made this possible," Downing said. "I never thought it would come this far ever."


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