The Sunshine Coast SPCA is asking for donations to help give Rocko, a severely abused five-year-old Labrador mix, a second chance at a happy, pain-free life.
Rocko was surrendered to the shelter on July 3 after the SPCA investigated a tip that the dog was in poor health and seemed to be in pain.
“In this case a member of the public saw him kind of limping along the road and when we got him, more than half of his fur was missing because of skin irritation. He had allergies and really bad fleas, so his whole body was just covered with raw wounds and scabs,” said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations with the BC SPCA, noting the shelter was able to treat Rocko, rid him of the fleas and heal his skin condition.
What’s not an easy fix is the repair of the young dog’s hind legs, which both have ruptured cruciate ligaments, likely the result of being hit by a car years ago.
“It’s heartbreaking to think that this poor dog has been suffering such pain for years, with no treatment,” said Cindy Krapiec, Sunshine Coast SPCA branch manager. “He has made great strides and his fur is growing back, but he really needs the cruciate surgery if he is going to be able to walk without pain.”
The surgery costs $6,000, which is well beyond what the shelter can afford.
“We spend several million dollars a year throughout the province on veterinary care because many of the animals that come to us do come with serious illnesses or injuries,” Chortyk said, explaining that while the medical budget varies from branch to branch, shelters are only able to spend about $800 on average per animal in their care.
Rocko’s treatment to date has used up his allotted amount, which is why the shelter is now turning to the public for donations to help pay for his needed surgery.
“We would be so grateful if there are animal lovers out there willing to help this beautiful dog,” Krapiec said.
She described Rocko as a happy-go-lucky dog who loves to cuddle with staff and volunteers.
“He’s just an amazing lovely dog and he’s young and he’s come from a situation where he was so badly neglected that he’s had a lot of health issues. But they are all treatable and we just feel like this poor little guy so badly deserves to be pain free and in a loving home,” Chortyk noted.
If you would like to give to Rocko’s surgery you can donate online at www.spca.bc.ca/support (make sure to indicate that your gift is for the Sunshine Coast SPCA), by calling the local branch at 604-740-0301 or by dropping off or mailing your donation to 4376 Solar Rd., Sechelt, B.C. V0N 3A1.
The shelter is also taking information from people who might want to adopt Rocko after he’s healed and would ideally like to find a loving home that could also foster him while he undergoes treatment.
The SPCA is following up the cruelty complaint that brought Rocko to their shelter and Chortyk said that if a solid case can be crafted the SPCA will charge Rocko’s former owner.