By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer
RICHMOND — One Waco resident asked the community for help to save an injured dog, and the response was “overwhelming,” she said. “I want everyone to know how grateful I am.”
Barbara Carter, 70, called the Richmond Register in early October and said she had found an injured yellow Labrador mix near the game reserve in Waco.
Veterinarians believed the dog, which Carter named Lukas, had been struck by a car, shattering his pelvis and hip bone, she said.
Carter, whose only income is Social Security, could not afford to pay what it would cost to save Lukas from a life of chronic pain. At that time, she was unsure if Lukas would survive.
“I couldn’t leave him to die,” she said. “He deserves a chance to live.”
After Lukas’ story ran in the Oct. 12 edition of the Richmond Register, donations began to pour in to the Barnes Mill Animal Hospital to pay for the 9-month-old dog’s surgery.
Receptionist Darica Coates said that $1,000 was raised in just four days, which was enough to cover the surgery, after care and vaccinations.
“We had to start turning donations away,” Coates said. “It was amazing how many called to help.”
Dr. Jack Taylor, the veterinarian who performed Lukas’ surgery, said he was able to repair the dog’s thigh bone, but Lucas’ pelvis had already healed on its own in a way that might always put a limp in his step.
“He’ll never be an athletic dog,” Taylor said.
“Try to convince him of that,” Carter replied as a stitched-up Lukas bounced around the examination room during her visit Friday.
It was only 10 days post-surgery, but Lukas had already destroyed at least six pet cones, Taylor joked. “He’s got a good shot at having a happy life.”
Donors’ willingness to help with Lukas’ recovery “just shows you what a fine community we have,” he said.
Carter said the love of animals runs in her family. Her granddaughter, Rachel Faust, 11, once created duct-tape crafts and sold them to raise more than $100 for the Madison County Humane Society Animal League for Life.
Her money was used to pay for the hip surgery of a dog named Oscar, who had been left to die in a creek.
Crystal Wylie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.