Little dog inspires big generosity

Donations help pay for surgery to save rescued canine's leg




Luna the Cavalier King Charles spaniel has a spring in her step these days on runs with her new owner Teri Wilson.

“I fell in love with her,” Wilson, a Clark County Animal Control officer, said.

The two met last June when police received anonymous reports of a domestic disturbance at a Vancouver home. Responding officers heard rumors of an injured dog and arrived to find Luna, then 7 months old, limping. Her owners voluntarily surrendered the pup to animal control. Department staff members found themselves in an unusual situation: they needed to choose to have her leg amputated or pay for a $4,000 surgery to get it fixed. With support from the public, they opted for the fix that put a stabilizing pin in the dog’s leg to ensure it healed properly.

She’s now fully recovered and closed that transitional chapter of her life about a week ago when she was adopted by Wilson, who rescued her from the home and took care of her while she recovered from surgery.

It wasn’t something Wilson thought would happen.

“I usually go for herding breeds,” she said. “I never thought I’d see myself with a spaniel.”

Now Luna joined ranks with the other dog at the Wilson home, a female Australian cattle dog name Icess.

It’s a bit unusual for animal control officers to adopt animals they rescue, said Paul Scarpelli, manager of county animal control. It was a good outcome in this situation because Wilson put a lot of effort into taking care of Luna, he said.

Wilson and Luna take 3-mile runs together when weather permits. Sometimes the dog rides shotgun in Wilson’s work rig and makes visits to the animal

control offices.

Earlier this week, the pup scurried around animal control’s area on the third floor of the Public Service Center chasing a small green ball. Her long, silky black hair flowed behind her as she hopped, growled and wiggled for attention.

Everybody on the third floor knows when Luna comes to visit, Scarpelli said.

He said it was challenging choosing between amputation or paying for the expensive surgery last summer. That decision was a little easier thanks to public generosity and the Humane Society for Southwest Washington’s Chopper Fund, which helps pay for surgeries for animals that will seek adoption.

The fund got its name from a Rottweiller named Chopper whose owners brought him to the shelter when they couldn’t afford a surgery to repair his legs, said Lisa Feder, director of operations at the humane society.

“We just fell in love with Chopper,” Feder said.

The organization decided to ask for the community’s help to raise money to pay for his surgery. Luna was the second pooch to benefit from the fund, she said.

People interested in donating to the fund can mail a check to the Humane Society or point their browser to Humane Society for Southwest Washington and click on “Donate” on the top banner.