Not long after DVGRR was founded, we met Cody after we’d received a call to help a dog that “looks like he has a pin is in his leg.” This beautiful, red Golden had been hit by a train, and the repair pin placed in his leg didn’t hold. Faced with astronomical veterinary costs, the owners thought their only choice was euthanasia, but luckily, he was relinquished to us. Lucky for Cody, we knew, but we weren’t certain how lucky it would be for us.

Still in our infancy, we were juggling finances – using one dog’s adoption fee to pay the veterinary bills for the next dog in need. We were in continual “hop-scotch” mode with income and expenses. The anticipated cost for Cody’s surgery was going to be $6000.00. We swallowed and took a hard look at our mission statement. Veterinary expense was no reason for euthanasia. We took a leap of faith and proceeded with the surgery, hoping we could somehow raise the money to pay for it.

We sent a plea for donations to our very small list, and within a week, we had all the money we needed for Cody’s surgery and recuperation. DVGRR supporters came through, and it’s happened countless times since then. We actually had a small amount of money left over from our appeal after Cody went home to his forever home, so we established the Cody Medical Fund.

The money in this fund covers extraordinary veterinary expenses for dogs that enter our program. Like Cody, many are relinquished to us by owners who cannot afford to pay for needed care, whose only other choice may be euthanasia. Since it was established in 1994, we’ve continued to use this fund as the primary source for expenses related to all medical care for all DVGRR dogs while the dogs are in the program. It includes all direct and indirect medical costs such as ancillary veterinary care, BARK-related expenses, outside veterinarians and specialists, medical supplies, drugs, and laboratory tests.

Contributions to this special fund help dogs like Squirt, Darwin, Kory, and Gabby, just to name a few recent recipients.

Squirt and Darwin were both puppy mill survivors. As if that life wasn’t bad enough, they both endured painful medical conditions until they arrived at Golden Gateway. Squirt, aptly named due to problems with his internal plumbing, arrived to us with urine scalds on his belly due to incontinence, and his urination difficulty (and accompanying pain) was immediately obvious. Two surgeries were needed to change the opening of his urethra, allowing him to urinate more normally and without pain.

Darwin had malformed forelegs – growth plates that were twisted and torqued. Walking was painful, and he looked like a seal. Through the corrective surgery and over six weeks in casts, with the requisite follow up appointments, Darwin was a trooper and showed true Golden spirit through his ordeal.

Kory arrived to Golden Gateway with untreated diabetes and nearly 30 pounds underweight. Within two hours of arriving, she was being treated at an emergency appointment, and the prognosis was not good. She would possibly not live through the night without round-the-clock care and treatment – the type of care and treatment that could only be provided by specialists. After five days in intensive care, she returned to Golden Gateway and ultimately to her forever home.

When DVGRR agreed to rescue twenty dogs from certain euthanasia in North Carolina, getting there and getting them back to Golden Gateway was our first priority. Because of the deplorable conditions in which they were living, we anticipated out-of-the-ordinary veterinary expenses, and we were right. What we didn’t expect was the extent of dental damage these dogs suffered. Gabby required extensive dental surgery, and thanks to the Cody Medical Fund, she received the medical attention she needed as did her 19 companions.

Over the years, the list of dogs that have benefitted from the Cody Medical Fund goes on and on. Their stories are all similar to Squirt, Darwin, Kory and Gabby. The best part of their stories is that because of a red Golden named Cody (“that looked like he had a pin sticking out of his leg”) and the generous support of our members and donors, they have happy endings… endings that did not result in euthanasia because there was no money to cover extraordinary veterinary expenses. Your generous donation to the Cody Medical Fund will truly help the Goldens that need it most.