By: Mary Beth McAndrews
Photo Credit: Kira Stackhouse
In the spring of 2013, a one-year-old pit bull was found tied to a tree by an Oakland animal control officer. She was underweight and had no fur due to a condition called Demodex, a form of mange. She was bright pink, hot to the touch, and starving with no owner in sight when she was brought to Oakland Animal Services, the local animal shelter. Due to the extent of her condition and a lack of shelter resources, there wasn’t much they could do for her.
However, through the love and care of two different foster parents, Steve LaChapelle and Pat Luchak, the aptly-named Hope started to recover. They took her in and took turns administering oral medications and giving her medicated baths to treat the mange, which was exacerbated by stress. Hope didn’t just need medicine; she needed love and care to help eradicate the mange and get her fur to grow back!
Photo Credit: Steve LaChapelle
Just when things started looking up for this pit bull pup, bad news struck again: Hope was diagnosed with Valvular Pulmonic Stenosis, a congenital heart problem that would kill her within the year without surgery. Surgery isn’t cheap and again, things were looking dire for this brave pup. However, through the compassion of her humans, the money for the surgery was raised. How, you may ask?
Steve and the Friends of Oakland Animal Services set up a crowd-funding campaign through Razoo, with the ambitious goal of $5,000 to cover Hope’s surgery and various other medical expenses. Steve shared it with his friends and family, asking for any little bit they could donate, while the campaign was also promoted on Hope’s own Facebook page. In just three days, the campaign had been shared all over the world and raised almost $6,000, well over the original goal. Hope was now on her way to surgery and a happy, healthy life.