A Sunderland grandmother has a choice between spending £5,000 on life-saving surgery for her pup or seeing the eight-week-old dog tragically die.
Joanne Noble, 46, from Houghton le Spring, got Luna, the mini Pomeranian, for her 11-year-old granddaughter Chloe after her father’s death, hoping it would help her grieve.
And since getting together just over three weeks ago, the pup has brought much joy to the family and created a beautiful bond at an extremely difficult time.
READ ALSO: Sunderland Man With Terminal Cancer Completes Great North Run Ahead Of London Marathon
However, in a tragic turn of events, it was revealed that the young dog was suffering from a patent ductus arteriosus – one of the most common congenital heart defects in dogs. As a result of the defect, experts believe the dog may have trouble making it through its first year of life without treatment.
But with a cost of £4,800 and no health insurance to split the bill, Joanne and the family are in a tough spot.
Speaking to Chronicle Live about Luna, Joanne said: “I lost my nephew nine weeks ago and then fifteen days later my son-in-law. When my son-in-law died, all of his friends got together and my granddaughter got a dog to try and help her grieve.
“She had kept saying she wanted a dog, she was really depressed and they thought it would help her grieve. So they basically went to everyone and just bought a mini Pomeranian.
“The mother died giving birth and she had to go to the emergency room – we were told that and the owner hand raised her.
“We got the puppy at six weeks and she needed her injections and things like that so we took her last Monday as it had to be eight weeks before she could have them.
“The vets then determined that she had a heart murmur that was quite significant, they said. So we booked her in for the next day – it cost us £500 for more scans and so on – and they said she basically didn’t have long, we had to get her operated straight away.
“They took us to the Edinburgh Royal Vet Hospital so that’s where we went yesterday. They wanted to do their own blood tests and scans and stuff like that which cost another £575. We paid that, then they asked if they could keep them and operate the next day.
“They needed £2,500 upfront and then another £2,500 on collection. I told them I don’t have that kind of money and I can’t get that kind of money — we had so much that we could retire with, funerals etc. isn’t possible.”
Joanne also says she has been in touch with the RSPCA and PDSA, among many other charities, in hopes of financial support for her young pup’s surgery. However, she hasn’t had such luck so far – prompting her to take matters into her own hands and solicit generous members of the public for selfless donations.
She intends to raise a total of £4,800 for the surgery, which will fund an operation with a 90 per cent success rate, allowing her dog to survive and lead a relatively normal life in the future. But the longer Joanne waits to book the surgery and go through with the procedure, the less chance she has of surviving.
Joanne added, “We’ve tried everything and this GoFundMe is our last hope. They gave her two weeks and put her on heart medication too.
“I have every single document from the hospital needed to prove everything and hopefully this drug will allow her to last an extra two weeks – but up to a maximum of four.
“They play and seeing stuff like that absolutely breaks my heart, we’re all so attached to her.
“People say, ‘How do you commit after two weeks?’ But you do, she’s like part of our family. She means everything to the kids and when I see them playing with her… I just want to try to help her, I just can’t see her dying.
“We had them for three weeks and three days but to be fair the connection was there from day one. We totally fell in love.
“I just can’t watch an animal suffer, I really can’t.”
Joanne’s GoFundMe has raised £30 from her £4,800 goal since it was set up three days ago – but she’s hoping to get the ball rolling further to help Luna lead a normal life.
She added: “If I can get 5,000 people to donate a dime each – people drop their dime all day, you know. Even a cent helps her to get this operation. Every single cent will help.”
To learn more about Luna’s story, you can visit Joanne’s official GoFundMe page here.