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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 5 years ago

Help Rusty the dog get new knees

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A homeless dog needs an expensive surgical procedure, and a group of volunteers are determined to help him get it. They held a fundraiser last weekend at Pet Supermarket.

BY WAYNE GRANT | CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Dana Conway loves Rusty.

“He’s a big, old, goofy hound," the Ormond Beach resident says of her foster dog. "Sweet as can be. Not a mean bone in his body."

Conway is a volunteer for Second Chance Rescue, a no-kill animal shelter in Bunnell. As a foster parent, she takes animals that are up for adoption into her home. She also helps raise money to care for animals and provide them with medical treatment.

And currently, Rusty needs a lot of treatment -- a $7,000 surgery to correct crooked bone growth in his legs.

Vicki Stanley, another pet foster parent from Ormond, said Rusty was mistreated by his previous owners.

“When Rusty was a puppy, his owners kept him in a cage," she said. "He couldn’t even turn around.”

As Rusty grew bigger in this cage, his bones grew crooked and he became bowlegged. The owners decided they didn’t want him anymore and he ended up at Second Chance Rescue.

Rusty now weighs about 100 pounds, and his rear knees pop out of their sockets; the ligaments in both knees are torn. He can walk, but he often falls.

The surgery, Conway says, will make Rusty more likely to be adopted.

“He’s the most sweet, gentle dog,” Stanley said.

Stanley was at Pet Supermarket Saturday, June 22, to build awareness for the fund drive. She said the store regularly displays animals from Second Chance Rescue that are up for adoption. She has also promoted the drive for Rusty on Facebook, on a page called Operation Rusty.

“If all of the friends of the Second Chance Facebook page gave two dollars, we’d have enough money,” she said, noting that there is still a “long way to go.”

People can also visit the shelter’s website, at www.second-chance-rescue.org, to donate.

“We owe money to veterinarians all over Central Florida,” Conway said. “We need donations to pay these bills.”

Although they see many animals with problems, being a foster parent is very rewarding for volunteers, said Laurie Boraski, of Daytona Beach Shores.

“It’s great to get the animals adopted out and to get to know the people who adopt them,” she said.

Conway said she was grateful for the help provided by Pet Supermarket. “It’s a great cause. I don’t know what we’d do without them.”

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