Snoopy’s home with family

Published: June 24, 2007  |  Source: fayobserver.com
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Zachery Snider hugs his dog, Snoopy, who suffered a spinal cord injury in April.
Zachery Snider hugs his dog, Snoopy, who suffered a spinal cord injury in April.
Snoopy, the Labrador retriever whose ability to walk was threatened when he was hit by a car, is back home with Jay and Julie Snider and their three children.

And he’s walking.

“He’s able to run,” Julie Snider said. “He runs funny, but he runs.”

Snoopy suffered a spinal cord injury when he was hit by a car on Fillyaw Road on April 28 after escaping from the Sniders’ nearby home on Dandridge Drive.

The Sniders rushed Snoopy to an urgent care hospital, using their savings to pay the bill, but to no avail.

Julie Snider took him to the N.C. State Veterinary Teaching Hospital the next day. Doctors there diagnosed the injury, but said they needed to do an MRI to find out if surgery was necessary.

The bill would run about $4,000, the Sniders were told.

They didn’t have the money, so Julie Snider made a desperate plea to the community for help.

Generous animal lovers and pet owners donated about $15,000.

An overwhelmed Snider is thanking those who helped.

The MRI showed that the spinal cord was swollen but surgery wouldn’t be needed.

Once Snoopy was well enough, he was transferred to the Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Hospital where he stayed until May 19.

Snoopy’s prognosis is good, said Dr. Kevin Jones, who works at the rehab hospital.

Snoopy is able to take 30-minute walks, Snider said, and is back to playing with the Snider children — Jay Jr., 8, daughter Infinia, 2, and 5-year-old Zachery, who suffers with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The degenerative muscle illness cripples its victims — usually young boys — and usually has them confined to a wheelchair before their teens. Duchenne is incurable; its victims seldom live past the age of 20.

The Sniders have since moved onto Fort Bragg, and Zachery was scheduled to go to Ohio last week for his quarterly checkup at the children’s hospital there.

Because of the generosity of people, Snider was able to pay Snoopy’s medical bills and still has money to pay future ones.

She plans to set up a fund to assist pet owners who find themselves in a similar situation and already has helped two people.

She donated $1,000 to the veterinary hospital’s emergency assistance fund — which had loaned her $500 toward Snoopy’s bill.

She made a similar donation to the Cumberland County Animal Shelter Emergency Assistance Fund and Parent Project, a research and support group for Duchenne victims.

Snoopy still has issues with his bladder, but Snider is convinced he’s on the path to a complete recovery.

“He’s going to be fine,” she said. “Give him six months. He’s come a long way.”

By Nancy McCleary
Staff writer