Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nako Survives Wolf Attack

Injured puppy's owner astounded by generous community response

The owner of a puppy suspected of being attacked by a wolf in Black Creek says she is astounded and deeply touched by people's generosity and love. Eight-month-old Nako - a border collie cross - is back home after two operations at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital in Courtenay.

The complex procedures and medication resulted in a total bill of $4,700 - with a possible third surgery yet to come. To help cover some of the cost, hospital staff have been accepting donations from people who had heard about the puppy's plight through the Echo and other media.
Those donations alone have covered about a third of the bill, and another $2,000 more has been offered online through dozens of individual pledges via the internet, including through facebook postings. "People from as far away as Hawaii and Australia have contributed - it's absolutely overwhelming," Nako's owner, Samantha Garstang, told the Echo on Wednesday. "It just shows that community has no borders. It's just beautiful to experience and really quite inspiring."

Ten days before Christmas, Garstang had let Nako out to relieve himself in the yard, but when he hadn't returned after 20 minutes she went in search of him. He was found curled up, with part of his tail missing and his rear quarters heavily chewed and dripping with blood.
Later a B.C. Conservation Officer told her the injuries were consistent with those that would be incurred in a wolf attack.

Nako spent several days at the vets before returning home in time for Christmas, where he comforted himself with a stuffed reindeer toy a well-wisher had left for him. "He's doing pretty well considering what he's gone through." said Garstang. "He's still on sedatives, so he's not jumping around yet. But he's got amazing spirit."
Nako was back at the veterinary hospital on Tuesday for further work on his wound, and may need additional medical attention down the line. "Staff at Van Isle have been amazing," said Garstang. "They really worked collaboratively on what was a challenging case, and they have done so much to help above and beyond the medical care."
Van Isle Veterinary Hospital administrator Leslie Sweeney said it had been refreshing to see a community come together in a time of need.  "When Nako was attacked by a wild animal, his owner reached out to the community for help," she said. "Van Isle Veterinary Hospital has been accepting donations to aid Nako's surgeries and recovery.

"We are touched by the generosity of the people of the Comox Valley, who have showed us true holiday spirit and real community support. Thanks to you, Nako is doing well, and is continuing his recovery at home."

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