A single sheepdog wandered back home after two days in the cold- The dog had a vet bill so high he faced euthanasia

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Imagine ending your beloved pet dog's life because you could not pay for his medical treatment at a vet. John Wierwiller, a farmer, recently endured such a gut-wrenching ordeal. [i]

During a 30-minute encounter, Casper, the sheepdog, ended eight coyotes' lives. This left parts of Casper's skin and tail hanging off. Just 20 months old, the Great Pyrenees dog suffered significant injuries. He scampered away after the encounter. He did not return home to Mr. Wierwiller until two days later. [ii]

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CasperPhoto byFOX5

When Casper the dog returned home, Mr. Wierwiller stated that,

We knew he was hurt because we found parts of his tail and blood and other things, so we were worried. He was kinda looking at me like, 'Boss, stop looking at how bad I look, just take care of me. [iii]

With no idea how much it may cost to perform such extensive medical care for a dog, Mr. Wierwiller became increasingly concerned that he could not afford the cost of treatment. Upon examination, Casper's veterinarian bill would reach nearly $15,000 in costs. [iv]

Desperately concerned about Casper, who had fought so courageously, Mr. Wierwiller made an urgent request on social media for assistance with Casper's vet bills. The LifeLine Animal Project answered his pleas. The organization works tirelessly to "end the euthanasia of healthy animals." [v]

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Common reasons for vet visits and their potential costs.Photo byCharnell Gilchrist

LifeLine Animal Project organized a GoFundMe requesting help for Casper by donating money to help cover his hospital bills. The GoFundMe campaign raised enough to cover the $15,000 vet bill, and there was even additional funding remaining. LifeLine Animal Project states that the remaining funds help save future animals needing a miracle. [vi]

According to Market Watch, nearly 21% of pet owners have paid over $1,000 for a single vet visit. Additionally, although there are over 100 million cat and dog pets in the US, a 2021 end-of-year survey revealed that only 3.9 million pets were insured. On average, for dogs, healthcare premiums were $583 a year or $49 a month, and $343 a year or $29 a month for cats. [vii][viii]

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References[i] Don Shipman, Emily Van de Riet, Stacked up against pack of coyotes, herd dog kills 8 to save sheep (Dec. 2, 2022)

[ii] Id.

[iii] Graeme Massie, Hero sheepdog kills pack of coyotes that attacked his flock (Dec. 5, 2022)

[iv] Id.

[v] LifeLine Animal Project, A Leader in Animal Welfare (2022)

[vi] Id.

[vii] Market Watch, Top Pet Insurance Facts and Statistics of 2022 (Sep. 1, 2022)

[viii] Insurance Information Institute, Facts + Statistics: Pet Ownership and Insurance (2022)

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