Compassionate animal lovers are helping a Lawrence couple whose dog was attacked last week by another dog.
A Lawrence couple's dog received a new lease on life Saturday morning thanks to the kindness of strangers and a local veterinarian.
Lawrence and Rose Riley's terrier, Bear, was attacked by a German shepherd-Labrador mix last week at the Gaslight Village mobile home park in the 1900 block of West 31st.
The Rileys, who live on a fixed income, were horrified to find the bloody 4 1/2-pound dog in their fenced-in back yard. Bear, still in shock, was rushed to the Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital, 4340 Clinton Pkwy. Dr. Gary Olson cleaned the puncture wounds and cared for the dog, but the Rileys were afraid they couldn't afford a surgery Bear needed.
Olson performed the 1 1/2-hour surgery Saturday morning, free of charge. Bear's abdominal lining had been torn, causing his internal organs to bulge out his side. Olson repaired the three or four tears in the dog's muscle.
Olson said staff members contributed their time to help during the surgery.
``We just decided to do the surgery at no cost. He came out of it in flying colors,'' the veterinarian said. ``The problem is that there is a nerve injury in his right rear leg, and it can't support weight.''
Olson said the leg might have to be amputated, but he will monitor it for the next several months before making a decision.
Olson and the animal hospital staff aren't Bear's only benefactors. Olson said about eight people have called wanting to contribute to Bear's recovery. A total of donations wasn't available Saturday, but Olson said the money will go toward the expenses of Bear's original treatment after the Tuesday morning attack. Some of the donors wanted to remain anonymous, and one of them had a dog that was attacked by another dog.
``I want to thank them and tell them, `God bless you, to find it in your hearts,''' Rose Riley said Saturday after Bear's operation. ``If it wasn't for God touching these people's hearts .... ''
Olson called the Rileys and asked them to visit Bear before the operation.
``As soon as I held him, he stopped trembling. I finally broke down, which is good for me to do,'' Rose Riley said. ``I can't hold it in forever.''
Both Rileys became tearful while talking about the donated surgery and money.
``It must have been some dog lovers. There's a lot of people in this world that love dogs like I do,'' Lawrence Riley said. ``He went through a heck of a lot. That poor dog, I miss him a lot.''
Bear won't be able to return home until later this week.
As for the dog that attacked Bear, no one at the mobile home park is claiming him. Animal control officers caught the dog Friday, and he is being held at the Lawrence Humane Society. Police investigated the attack but were unable to verify who owned the dog.
-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.