With Gatsby’s great story, we could call it “The Great Gatsby!” On June 13th, six-year-old Gatsby, a Border Collie-Husky mix, was officially surrendered to the Darlington County Humane Society shelter in South Carolina. But there’s so much more to his story. Debbie Anderson is a local pastor whose ministry extends to helping animals in need, including her volunteering with the Darlington County Humane Society Rescue. Debbie had been helping a woman with a large cat colony, who also had a dog, Gatsby, chained outside. Gatsby was having severe skin issues, so Debbie offered to take him to the vet. The owner decided that it would be better to have Gatsby euthanized rather than suffer any more.

Debbie, knowing that Gatsby’s issues were treatable, convinced his owner to let her take him instead. Debbie took Gatsby to the shelter to be officially surrendered, but then immediately took him home to be fostered! In addition to his skin issues, his ears had a bad yeast infection, he was very thin and his teeth were worn down. Poor Gatsby seemed to be both physically and mentally depleted. He had not been neutered and, not surprisingly, was heartworm positive. His ear infection was treated and his skin improved after medications and medicated baths.

On June 28th, Susan Blakeney, RADAR’s liaison with the Darlington County Humane Society Rescue, contacted us about Gatsby. Long Trail Canine Rescue in Vermont was interested in taking him if his heartworm treatment costs could be covered. We agreed, securing Gatsby’s rescue commitment. He received his heartworm treatment on September 7th.

Debbie had this to say about Gatsby: “He loves to ride in the car and walks very well on the leash, alone or with others. He gets along well with all the dogs. He takes treats gently and waits his turn while sitting with others. Gatsby’s a really sweet, laid back boy. He is a gentle dog with good manners. He loves for you to pet him, and he just melts into you when shown affection!” To see more photos of Gatsby, click here.

RADAR paid all of Gatsby’s heartworm treatment costs, which totaled $235.

UPDATE Gatsby has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Almost three weeks after heartworm treatment, Gatsby started coughing up blood. He was taken to the vet, and it was found that his belly was full of fluid. Unfortunately, while at the vet, he had a heart attack and passed away just after 6pm on September 26, 2016. We are so grateful that he had 3 months of absolute love from his foster Mom, Debbie. We are all saddened by this news — everyone at RADAR, his foster Mom, the Darlington volunteers, his rescue in Vermont, and his forever family who was waiting for him. Years of neglect and untreated heartworms took a toll on Gatsby. He is no longer in pain. RIP Gatsby.

UPDATE All funds for Gatsby have been raised. A special thank you to Gail O’Connor for completing Gatsby’s funding in his memory.

If you would like to help us have the ability to help other dogs, please visit our Donations page

Thank you to the following contributors, who have given specifically to Gatsby:

Helping Hands for Hearts Fund ($100); Gail O’Connor, in memory of Gatsby

Added on September 25, 2016.

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