Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Ness students need your pennies
A pair of Ness Middle School students are looking to scoop up the last of your pennies to pay for an expensive medical treatment that will help save the life of a rescued dog.
Grade 7 students Hannah Leslie and Kassidy Komonko have partnered up with Manitoba Mutts to raise the money for Griffin, a black, two-year-old Newfie cross with heartworms.
"Because (pennies are) coming to an end, instead of sending them to the bank, send them to us and it’s going to a good cause," Leslie said.
The shaggy and black Griffin was found as a stray in a gas station parking lot on Sagkeeng First Nation.
Currently in a foster home until he is treated and adopted, Griffin was diagnosed with heartworms, which, if left untreated, will continue to grow and lay eggs, eventually killing him.
Heartworm treatment costs around $2,000.
"All dogs really need help. They can’t help themselves," said Leslie, who, along with Komonko, is a regular volunteer at Best West Pet Foods near Polo Park.
"If we are able to raise enough money to help him, then it would be great because he would get a new life, healthy and happy."
Ness isn’t the only school involved in the endeavour.
Seventeen schools across the city — including Voyageur and Harold Hatcher elementary schools, and Grant Park High School and Fort Richmond Collegiate — have all signed on to help sponsor a dog in need, according to Manitoba Mutts.
The program is in a "soft launch," with plans on continuing during the 2012-13 school year. The group is looking for more schools to sign on to help treat dogs with Lyme disease or who need costly surgeries.
"I think it’s amazing that people actually care about the cause, and people so young have found out about us and want to take the initiative," said Becky Nordquist, a Fort Richmond resident, and one of the founders.
"They’re the dog rescuers of the future."
About 90% of the dogs Manitoba Mutts handles come from northern reserves, many of which have heartworm or Lyme disease, or starved and abused, Nordquist said.
Heartworm disease is carried by mosquitoes and easily prevented. Pills can be as cheap as $10, Nordquist said.
"It’s just a pill a month during the summer months," she said. "It’s as simple as going to vet and asking for heartworm pills."
For more, contact Ness Middle School at 837-1361.
For more information on Manitoba Mutts, visit www.manitobamutts.org.
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