Thunder, PTSD service dog in training, recovering after injury
Thunder's $2,500 medical bills nearly covered by online fundraiser
The community in Brookside, outside of Truro, has rallied to pay for a service dog's medical expenses after he was injured in an accident.
Thunder is training to become a companion for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
But that was put in jeopardy after an accident on Nov. 27 landed him in hospital.
"It was a cold morning, slippery morning, so I brought him out first thing to use the washroom. I didn't want to be out in the rain so I started running back to the house and he missed a step and literally dove face-first into the deck," said dog trainer Stephanie Bagnell.
The impact broke Thunder's jaw, requiring immediate surgery in Halifax — a costly expense for the non-profit training organization run by volunteers.
"I figured we wouldn't have the money to just pay for it right away so I started to think, what kind of funding could we do," said Bagnell.
So Bagnell set up a crowdfunding website to appeal to the community.
In just 24 hours, $2,000 dollars came in. Tuesday morning, the group was just $100 shy of the $2,500 goal to help pay for all of Thunder's medical expenses.
The money came from as far away as Germany.
"I was so overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. I could not believe it, that people were coming together that quickly. It was amazing, I didn't think it would happen, I really didn't think so," said Bagnell.
Once he's fully recovered and fully trained, Thunder will help to return the favour, becoming a companion of one of the veterans on a waiting list to receive a service dog.
"When he's paired with a veteran he's going to start right away saving this veteran's life," said Bagnell.