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Donations to pay for service dog's life-saving operation after dog attack

Posted at 7:25 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 18:37:37-04

Thousands of dollars in donations have poured in to help a Denver woman pay for a life-saving operation needed for her service dog, Jasper, who was allegedly attacked by a dog Sunday inside a parking garage.

Medical bills for the life-saving surgery that Jasper, a Boston terrier, needs were expected to total in the thousands. Thanks to the generosity of donors to a fundraising account by a family friend, it looks like Jasper will be able to get the operation he needs.

"They said he may not make it originally," Jasper's owner, Sharon Johnson, told 3 News Now. "The thought was everyone was suggesting to euthanize him. I'm like, 'No, I'll never find a dog like him, so I'm not going to do that.' "

It was a touch-and-go situation Monday for Jasper. Johnson says the attack left Jasper with a severe puncture wound.

"He was gushing blood," Johnson said. "I thought he was going to pass away, so he's doing much better than I thought."

But Johnson said her dog is tough, and that Jasper is slowly on the mend.

"Still not eating. Still not drinking," she said. "His pain is a lot less, and he's managing his pain. He's walking wide awake more, and he's being more active. He did go out and go to the bathroom today."

Jasper is under observation at an emergency care clinic. The hope was initially to operate Tuesday. That operation was pushed back until Johnson brings Jasper to a veterinarian in her home state.

His medical bills were initially an obstacle.

"The first night, he was there for stabilization — that first bill with medications and critical care is $2,065.47," Johnson said. "And when I left that day, I had to pay $966 for them to get started."

Until generous donors stepped in to help fund his care; more than $6,000 has been raised so far. One anonymous donor sent in more than $4,000.

Johnson is unsure when Jasper will be ready to go home or be able to continue on the trip to the East Coast. And each day, the bills for his care continue to add up by the thousands.

"An animal doesn't deserve to be put down and euthanized just because I don't have the money," Johnson said. "And a lot of people are in that situation."

The woman whose dog attacked Jasper has not come forward.

The Omaha Hilton issued this statement in connection: "We have been made aware of an incident involving a guest’s pet and an investigation is currently underway. The wellbeing, safety, and security of our guests and Team Members are of paramount importance, and we make every effort to ensure that all practices and standards are in line with strict safety and security regulations."