Having survived lockdown while battling cancer thanks to the constant comfort given by her dog, an Exeter woman is now trying to return the favor by saving his life. Despite being only six years old, Jack Russell Otis has recently been diagnosed with a collapsed heart valve and without an urgent operation, he will die.
His devastated owner Alison Flynn has been told that without surgery his life expectancy will only be up to two years. The operation will cost a staggering £14,000 and due to the complexity of the surgery, it can only be carried out at a specialist veterinary practice in either London or Cambridge.
Although Alison, a call center worker, does have pet insurance, her plan only pays up to £7,000 a year and she has already racked up a hefty bill due to medication, blood tests and scans for Otis. It means the 55-year-old, of St Thomas, has been left with no other choice than to launch an online fundraiser in the hope it will give Otis the vital lifeline he gave her when she was struggling with her own health.
Alison, who was diagnosed with a rare type of stomach cancer in 2019, recalled: “When I had cancer Otis was there for me right the way through. When I was diagnosed with cancer, he would sit with me, listen and lick the tears from my cheeks.
“I would cry my heart out to him as I was worried about the outcome. He has been my rock through all of it and has given me total unconditional love.
“I have had a follow-up endoscopy which has come back normal which means so far everything is going in the right direction. As he has done everything he can to make me happy, I have to try my hardest to give him a chance of survival. It’s a lot of money to raise.
“Otis is a playful and funny little thing. He has always been very healthy, happy and bouncy but now that he is on medication he is not his usual self, although to look at him you wouldn’t think anything is wrong.
“The vet said it’s unusual for a dog his age to have the condition he does. Otis had a cough which is why I took him to the vets and I never expected to be told what I was and I now only have £4,000 left on his pet insurance.
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“After my operation, Otis never left my side and was always there. He has done so much for me over this time that I really have to give him a chance to live.”
To make a donation to the fundraiser, please click here.
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