A local charity dedicated to animal welfare is asking the public to help out a blind dog scheduled to undergo surgery today.
Tyson is a 6 1/2-year-old husky mix that has been blind for most of his life.
Jessica Rendell of Heavenly Creatures said the 80-pound dog needs to be treated for perianal tumours.
“Basically, he’s been dealt blow after blow,” she said.
Found as a puppy six years ago in an emaciated state on the streets of a reserve in Quebec, Tyson had lost half his tail due to frostbite.
Rendell said his blindness started setting in at the age of six months, and Tyson was completely blind by the age of two years.
His owners eventually moved to Newfoundland and Labrador, keeping Tyson indoors. When they moved again for work purposes, Tyson was passed on to relatives, who chose to keep the dog outdoors in a pen.
“Can you imagine being blind and stuck in a box?” asked Rendell.
Tyson’s owners decided last month to euthanize the dog, but Rendell said it was fortuitous that someone brought his plight to Heavenly Creature’s attention. The owners instead agreed to hand over the dog to the organization.
A recent visit to a veterinarian detected the presence of two perianal tumours. Rendell said the condition is common in middle-aged, unneutered dogs. The tumours can grow to be large in size, affecting a dog’s ability to sit or urinate.
“We’re going to get (the tumours) off and then have him neutered so they don’t regrow, and then hopefully we’ll get him all fixed up and he can start a new life.”
The surgery at Sunrise Animal Hospital is expected to cost between $1,200 and $1,500, and Rendell said Heavenly Creatures is looking to find the dog a new home.
“He’s great with other animals and people. He’s a lovely, lovely dog.”
She said additional costs related to Tyson’s care could bring the final total up to $2,000.
“We’re reaching out to the public to help raise this money and for someone to give him a home,” said Rendell.
Heavenly Creatures, which operates with a no-kill policy, is currently looking after 100 animals — 80 cats and 20 dogs.
“Right now we’re facing the worst financial debt that we’ve ever had in 11 years, and we really can’t afford to take on any more debt, but at the same time, we couldn’t turn (Tyson) down.”