Kimberley Seedy, Lilydale and Yarra Valley Leader

April 23, 2013 12:00am

A LILYDALE family cried tears of joy when a charity stepped in to help pay for lifesaving surgery for their beloved puppy.

Katrina and Keith Russell gave their daughters Amelia, 7, and Charli, 5, a gorgeous Staffordshire bull terrier puppy, Cookie, for Christmas but over Easter she became unwell.

After attending The Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre in Malvern East, she was diagnosed with a bone cyst on her foot.

The family could not afford the expensive treatment, so they make the heartbreaking decision to put Cookie down.

Mrs Russell said they had already spent their holiday savings on Cookie’s vet bills and were “out of options”.

But on the day Cookie was going to be put down, Jennifer Hunt, founder of The Pet Medical Crisis Fund, offered a donation.

Thanks to that money, a discounted fee from the vet and a loan from a friend, the family was able to afford the surgery.

When she heard about the fund’s donation, Mrs Russell was overwhelmed.

“I cried, it was so beautiful … we told our daughters a stra­nger that loves doggies as just as much as we do is going to pay to get Cookie fixed,” Mrs Russell said.

Cookie had surgery on April 8 and is now on the road to recovery, complete with a pink cast.

When the family brought her home, Mrs Russell said the reaction from her daughters was amazing.

“We didn’t tell them she was coming home, and when she came in, it was like Christmas again,” Mrs Russell said.

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Natalie Savino, Hume Leader

April 9, 2013 12:00am

THANKFULLY for the owners of eight-year-old cockatoo Kokita, help was not too far away when the little bird got its feathers in a ruffle.

Kokita required surgery for a wound it sustained after pulling out its feathers, but owner Olga Romero was struggling to finance the operation.

However Kokita is now on the mend following assistance from the Pet Medical Crisis Fund. Ms Romero’s neighbour Rebecca Poole helped secure the funds for Ms Romero.

The fund was established about three years ago by nurse Jennifer Hunt, who dealt with almost $30,000 in surgery costs for her dog.

She decided to assist other pet owners who couldn’t afford the cost of emergency care for their animals.

The fund relies on donations from the community and last year, it helped around 55 families save their pets.

Ms Romero took Kokita in when its former owner passed away.

The cockatoo had six visits to the vet as well as four anaesthetics with treatments, and had his bandages and neck collar removed in late February.

About $300 was contributed by the fund.

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