Chesterton Tribune



Community pours out support for Porter rescue dog Harley's surgery

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They call him Harley, a search and rescue German Shepherd dog who has been part of the Porter Fire Department for three and a half years helping his team find missing persons.

Harley will undergo surgery on Monday at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Ill, as treatment for an apparent birth defect in his elbow referred to as ununited anconeal process, according to Porter Fire Deputy Chief Jay Craig.

UAP, also known as elbow dysplasia, occurs in dogs when a bony projection of the elbow fails to unite with the ulna. If left untreated, Harley could develop severe arthritis and lose his leg, Craig said at the Porter Town Council meeting on Tuesday.

But with surgery, Harley will be able to continue to work as a safety and rescue dog and live a healthy life.

“He’ll be back on duty in a few months, we hope,” Craig said.

The procedure will consist of implementing a screw to fuse the bones together, Craig said.

Due to the high cost of the surgery, Craig created a page on the crowdfunding website to use social media to attract donations.

“It was a way I could blast it on Facebook,” he said.

The Town Council which oversees funding for the fire department does not have to appropriate any funds for the dog since Craig agreed that he would take responsibility for the animal.

Harley’s surgery will be paid for by the Porter Volunteer Firefighters Inc., Craig said.

Within a few hours of Craig’s posting, almost half of the $3,500 goal was met.

The largest donation came from the Discovery Charter School which generously pledged $1,000 for Harley.

“I was very overwhelmed by all that’s come in already. I appreciate all the support I’ve been getting from the community. It’s been great,” said Craig.

As of this morning, the GoFundMe page has reached $2,930 with 28 individual donors and has been shared more than 375 times on Facebook.

Those who want to make a donation online can go to Craig said donations will be sought until Monday when Harley goes in for surgery.

As mentioned by Council member Elka Nelson, Craig said it is better to make a donation at the fire station at 550 W. Beam Street or to write a check since GoFundMe takes a small fee for each donation given.

Along with Porter Fire, Harley is also part of the Porter County Search and Rescue and Indiana Department of Homeland Security, District 1 Ground Search Team.



Posted 10/14/2015




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