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Saving Lulu: Danvers Resident Hopes to Give Ailing Dog a Second Chance

Lulu needs your help if she can get a potentially life-saving surgery.

Lulu rests after lunch. Photo credit: GoFundMe
Lulu rests after lunch. Photo credit: GoFundMe

Danvers resident Kimberly Hammond Donahue knew she had to do something for Lulu, a German Shepherd that was abandoned at the Spoiled Rotten Doggy Daycare.

Donahue learned of Lulu’s plight on the one-year anniversary of her father’s passing. Her father loved German Shepherds and she felt it was a sign. She just had to help Lulu.

Lulu’s previous owner left her at the doggie daycare and never picked her up. She was abandoned. 

After more than a month of taking care of Lulu, Spoiled Rotten Doggy Daycare needed someone to take her. Donahue volunteered to board her until a forever home could be found for the German Shepherd.

There was a problem. Danvers Animal Hospital, which has provided medical care for Lulu, reported that the dog has a medical condition called esophageal diverticulitis, which requires immediate corrective surgery to allow her to eat and not regurgitate her food. The problem hasn’t been treated for years, said Donahue.

If she doesn’t get the surgery, her condition will worsen and can lead to a secondary condition, such as an infection in her lungs, which can be fatal.

“While the situation is guarded, she has a good chance post-operation as she is still not too old at 6 years old. Prognosis is not favorable without surgery. As she ages, she will not be able to tolerate secondary complications and infections that will start to take over,” said Donahue. 

Donahue is getting Lulu evaluated by Angell Memorial Hospital, which is the closest facility that can perform such an operation. The operation could cost between $5,000 and $8,000 depending on the severity.

Raising Money for Lulu

Donahue can’t afford the operation and has set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising at least $5,000 for the operation

“I know this dog came to us to bring folks together for a good cause; she's a kind soul,” said Donahue.

Seventeen hours after Donahue creating the account, she has raised $725 for Lulu. The $725 is a great start, but she needs a lot more so she can save Lulu. Donahue said her 16-year-old son even offered to take money out of his college fund to pay for the surgery immediately.

“He is so much like my Dad who just passed, and he is already trying to solicit donations from all his friends at Bishop Fenwick where he is a junior,” she said proudly.

Donahue said that any money raised beyond the cost of surgery and medication costs will be donated to the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem in hopes that it can be used for rescued dogs with special needs.

“I do love dogs... and I do feel she deserves a second chance. I met her as my dog has gone to Spoiled Rotten over the years and they are all committed there to helping me help her get better and have a loving home.

“For me, it’s sentimental and personal. I grew up with the most loving German Shepherd, and they were my Dad's favorite breed. My Dad passed away this past year and on the exact one-year anniversary of his death this dog showed up in front of me with her situation. I do feel it’s a sign… and yes, my faith is strong regarding how these sort of things come to each of us.”

Both Donahue and Spoiled Rotten staff are committed to get Lulu healthy and give her a second chance.

“We are her guardian angels, as she has not had an advocate until this point. Every soul deserves a chance,” said Donahue.

To donate for Lulu’s cause, go to the GoFundMe page created for raising money for Lulu. 

Lesley Chodak Hershman February 16, 2014 at 06:16 PM
Hi, I just donated 50.00 on gofundme for this great cause and hope that others will do the same to help this sweet baby. I am posting on my fb to help spread the water. Have you contacted hopeforpaws in LA, they might be able to tell you about organizations that can help you raise money too? Best of luck!
Judi Cornfield February 16, 2014 at 08:18 PM
I'm not in a financial position at this point in my life. I love animals very much. Why can't Danvers Animal Hospital do this now for free? There are doctors out there that love animals enough to do this. If I find a way to send money, I will. Please help this baby.
Mike Callahan February 16, 2014 at 09:25 PM
I would like to offer a sponsorship for Lulu & all of the other animals in need. I will donate $2.00 for every bag of coffee sold in support of this noble cause. Visit my sites, and message me to let me know the cause you wish the proceeds to benefit. Sincerely, Michael Callahan Founder www.StarBARKSCoffee.com www.Facebook.com/StarBARKSCoffee
Steven Uman February 17, 2014 at 03:01 AM
It is a very troubling story. I wonder if that hospital or another will reduce their charges. In many cases the hospital charges are higher for an animal than an insurance covered human. I am not talking about the actual doctor charges.
J Inglima February 17, 2014 at 08:32 AM
I know for a FACT that these animal hospitals can make happen whatever they want to happen. My seven year-old male Yorkie had three surgeries in 15 months. At first, the director of the hospital "claimed" that there was nothing she could do about the cost. The surgeries were in excess of $10,000. I was relentless in my attempts to get them to reduce the price. It necessitated numerous phone calls and emails;however, the administrators finally caved in and shaved 20% off the total bill and ultimately waived several follow-up fees and x-rays. If you don't ask or badger them, nothing will happen. When they say they "can't," what they really mean is they "won't." Again, if enough pressure is applied, they will submit, at least to a certain extent. I'm still paying off my own vet bills so, unfortunately, I'm not in a financial position to assist. However, I wish you the very best of luck with this situation.
Virginia Stefanko February 17, 2014 at 09:16 AM
jstefanko Any vet can waive his/her charges if they wish! It is disgusting that a vet would allow this poor animal to suffer this way. I would never use this vet! Thank God I have a great vet!
Judith February 17, 2014 at 11:41 AM
My vet would have taken care of Lulu without a second thought and without a bill. Furthermore, when a beloved pet has to be put down, my vet not only doesn't charge for the euthanasia but makes a donation in the pet parent's name to a veterinary school.
Diane Diamond February 17, 2014 at 01:46 PM
You mean to tell me that there isn't one vet in town who won't perform this surgery for free? Really?
Les Masterson (Editor) February 17, 2014 at 03:01 PM
The closest vet office that can perform this operation is the MSCPA's Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston.
Brian White February 17, 2014 at 06:42 PM
They ought to charge the previous owner who abandoned her with animal cruelty and allow the fines to pay for the surgery. People like that make me sick.
Frontier Neighbor February 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Why do so many think that vets should provide their services for free?
Charles Bombico February 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM
The SPCA provides better protection for animals then we do our children. A fine example is the family court system in Lackawanna County Pennsylvania aka Custody 4 Cash. It is an evil machine controlled by select few and if someone should speak out they are blackballed or intimidated.

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