Community comes together to help a dog with health problems

Local News

A nonprofit that rescues dogs from out of state will receive help from another nonprofit that helps pay for animal medical bills.

K9 Kindness Rescue Incorporated in Bettendorf rescued a dog named Pepper from Texas. She was later diagnosed with Chronic Regurgitation and Megaesophagus, a condition in which the esophagus becomes abnormally enlarged.

That makes it difficult for Pepper to eat and requires surgery.

After Critter Crusaders, a nonprofit from Cedar Rapids, heard about Pepper’s story, the group decided to help her out.

Kimberly Patterson is the president of K9 Kindness Rescue Inc. She said K9 Kindness picked up Pepper in St. Louis before bringing her to the Quad Cities.

“It was kinda like an all night mission,” Patterson said. “We met at about 11 o’clock at night and then drove back and then knocked on their door about 2:30 in the morning with the dog and seven puppies,” said Patterson.

After a trip to the vet they received the sad news that Pepper is suspected to have Megaesophagus and persistent right aortic arch, an abnormality of the heart blood vessels. Pepper will need a special chair that sits her straight up so she can eat.

K9 Kindness asked for help on social media to see whether someone could make a Bailey chair – a sort of dog high-chair – which would help Pepper. Many people stepped forward.

“We reached out to our general group of friends on Facebook and said, ‘Here is Pepper. She is super-special. Please share this with any of your wood-working friends that you may have out there. Here is what the Bailey chair looks like – here’s the functioning. Just let us know,” said Patterson.

Steven Owen and his friend Jeremy Sierens saw the post and decided to help out Pepper.

“As soon as I saw it I got emotional,” Owen said. “I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something. I don’t care what it is, I have to do something.’ Me and him kinda collaborated together and yeah, we went to work,” said Owen. “I had to measure her from shoulder blade to her rear end and make sure that her actual paws still fit out here and all that.”

As for medical bills Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids is stepping up to the plate.

“We provide the care ourselves. We communicate directly with the doctors. We assist in formulating the treatment plans for each animal and we ensure that every pet that’s in our system – and that would be Pepper included – gets 100% everything they need from start to finish,” said Jan Erceg, Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids medical director coordinator.

K9 Kindness Rescue Inc. says they’re thankful for the help and support they’ve received.

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