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This fundraiser ended on 01/31/12

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Any donations, even as little as $1, are humbly appreciated to help fund Apollo's orthopedic knee surgery. He says WOOF to you, as THANKS!

As many of you have followed on Facebook or by knowing me and Apollo personally, Apollo is a rescued pit bull from a cruel, neglectful owner in Baltimore city. When I found him on craigslist, he was presented as a "fully house-trained 9-month-old pit bull, great off leash, never wanders away, free to a good home." When I went to meet him, it was a totally different story. He was 26 lbs, and you could feel and see his ribs and spine easily. He had no training whatsoever, and smelled absolutely horrible, likely from living alone and abandoned in some room with his own excrement. Named "Tigger," he struggled as hard as his little body could to lick every drop of snow when we walked to the car, dying for some hydration. I knew I could not leave him with that man, so he came home with me. At home, he tried to jump over me to reach the food I put down for him, and he ignored toys, not knowing how to play. He followed me everywhere, hovering next to my feet with his tail between his legs and barking desperately when I left the room. I changed his name to Apollo, to signify strength and potential for rising above his cruel past.

After hundreds of dollars in vet-screenings, food, and toys and weeks of intensive training and discipline, Apollo showed amazing improvements. He developed manners, became fully house trained, and is now so independent he abandons me in the living room to go sleep in my bed upstairs. Many of you have seen his progression and have had the pleasure of meeting this fun-loving, disciplined, and sweet little meathead I call my Apollo. He was the best investment I have made in my life, and has kept me company in this most difficult chapter of my life so far, alone in a big city and struggling through a demanding and expensive doctorate program. To me, Apollo is priceless.

Sadly, having quickly gone from 26 lbs to his now healthy 65 lbs may have had a detrimental effect on Apollo's joints. After a few playdates around Christmastime with his best canine friends, Apollo was limping. After several days of this, x-rays showed that Apollo has a partially torn cruciate ligament (ACL) in his back right leg, underneath a kneecap that continually moves out of place when he runs, goes up stairs, or plays. He has lost muscle mass in that leg, suggesting this has been going on for some time now and Apollo has been stoically dealing with it, while in pain.

After spending $600 on appointments and surgery consultations, the orthopedic surgery is estimated at $4000 in whole. They offer no payment plans, no discounts for financially struggling students, and essentially no help. With little income myself in contrast to extensive student loans, rent, and living expenses, I do not have the money to pay for this surgery myself. Though it does not need to happen tomorrow, the surgeons said that he will likely tear his ACL completely within the year, particularly considering how active he is and the damage he already has, which will be an even more serious and desperate problem. It is with a humble heart and a love for Apollo that I ask for any help you might be able to offer to prevent more pain for my puppy!
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