'She was so skinny': Community donates nearly $800 to animal rescue to help Betty, an abandoned dog

A small-town Manitoba dog rescue raised nearly $800 in one day to help care for an abandoned dog named Betty.

Strays That Can't Pay raised money through social media for Betty and Veronica, two pets from condemned home

Strays That Can't Pay took in Betty on Sunday and raised nearly $800 to help take care of the pooch. (Alicia Hoemsen/Facebook)

A small-town Manitoba dog rescue raised nearly $800 in one day to help care for an abandoned dog named Betty.

Pattie Cunningham, who volunteers with non-profit animal rescue Strays That Can't Pay, said she heard about an abandoned dog in the Binscarth, Man., area over the weekend, about 300 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

When Cunningham went to take a look Sunday morning, she knew the dog needed help.

"I started to cry," said Cunningham, who lives in Souris, Man. "She was so skinny — her hips, her neck. And the wood ticks — she was just covered with them. I picked off 100 and some, easy.

"As I bent down to get some out from under her armpits and her inner thigh area, I bent down and she just set her head on my back, because she's a great Dane," she added.

"It was just such a loving gesture, like 'Oh, human, you're here.' And I just broke down."

'It means the world'

Cunningham posted about Betty on Facebook and tagged Alicia Hoemsen, who founded Strays That Can't Pay. The animal rescue based in Elkhorn, Man., is on an intake freeze due to limited funds.

But Hoemsen jumped on social media to raise enough money to take Betty to the vet, with a goal of $500 — the bare minimum to get Betty in the door for an emergency visit.

The response was overwhelming, Cunningham said. Donations and offers to foster Betty started pouring in.

"It means the world to see people come together, just get message saying 'OK, I'm e-transfering you this, I'm e-transfering you that,'" Hoemsen said.

"One lady e-transfered $300, so at that point I was getting ready to leave because I knew we would be getting close to the $500."

By 7 p.m. on Sunday, the group had raised $770, all of which will go to take care of Betty and Veronica, an overweight cat found at the same condemned home.

After a visit to the vet, both animals are in good shape, Hoemsen said, although Veronica needs to lose some weight and Betty needs to gain some.

"This is small-town Manitoba, and we all kind of look after each other," Cunningham said. "And that's exactly what happened."

Strays That Can't Pay is accepting donations to help continue operations through a CanadaHelps campaign.

Veronica was found at the same condemned home as Betty and taken in by Strays That Can't Pay. (Alicia Hoemsen/Facebook)