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U.S. Marine Gets Help With Huge Vet Bill For Her Pitbull "Moose"

6:47 PM, Aug 19, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) --- A four-year-old pitbull, Moose, has survived a traumatic injury.  He received free surgery after he got hit by a car, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011.

Moose's owner, 24-year-old Laurie Sheik, says she initially faced an impossible vet bill of over $10,000 from Friendship Hospital for Animals.

The car accident left Moose with a severe wound to his left ankle and leg. Much of his skin was gone in the wound area.

"I was in shock. I was going to have to put the dog down," said Sheik. Paying the bill would have put her in a " really bad financial position."

But Sheik, a U.S. Marine, did not have to make that decision. Instead, Friendship Hospital decided to use their donation-based fund, the Bruder-Sullivan Fund. Moose would be treated for free. 

"I'm ecstatic. He's getting the best care that I think is out there. I can't thank these people enough," said Sheik.

Chief Surgeon, Dr. Mathieu Glassman, VMD, DACVS,  said the entire Friendship Hospital fell in love with the dog.

"Moose has such charisma...strong silent type of dog. To see an animal like that ...not be able to play fetch, it was very difficult for everyone."

Glassman said the hospital also wanted to give back and thank Sheik for her service. Sheik has most recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. 

"This is kind of a way to give a thank you to the troops."

Dr. Glassman, performed five hours of ankle stabilization surgery on Moose yesterday. Glassman used a new device, the VAC (vacuum assisted closure).

Dr. Glassman said the device has cut Moose's recovery time probably "in half."

Last Saturday, Moose escaped from the backyard, according to Sheik who was not at her DC home at the time.

A car accidentally hit the dog. Sheik's housemate, Mike Richardson, rushed the dog to the vet hospital nearby.  

Sheik looks forward to getting Moose back. She said her dog loves to swim and is insane for fetch.

Read more of Sheik and Moose's story here.

Written by: Elizabeth Jia
9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.com

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