$3,300 raised for injured dog

Rudy receives lifesaving surgery to amputate shoulder, leg

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— The community raised close to $3,300 for Rudy, a red and white mixed breed dog who needed surgery to amputate his right shoulder.

Rudy was brought to the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter Jan. 22 with a severely dislocated shoulder. He had his right shoulder and leg amputated Tuesday morning.

The surgery, which was performed by veterinarians at the Pet Kare Clinic, was made possible after the animal shelter sought donations from the community.

"We raised over and above what we needed," said Cindy DelValle, Routt County animal control officer. "The support we received from the community has been fabulous. It has been great."

Without the surgery, Rudy likely would have been euthanized.

Because the shoulder dislocation was not addressed early on, Rudy developed degenerative arthritis in the limb and was unable to use it. The animal shelter, which teamed up with the Northwest Colorado Animal Assistance League to raise the money, felt the best way for Rudy to survive is on three legs.

The shelter and the animal league started raising funds for Rudy days after he was brought into the shelter at 760 Critter Court.

At the end of last week, enough money had been raised for Rudy to have the surgery, which was estimated to cost about $1,000. Money not used to cover the cost of the surgery will be set aside for other animals brought into the shelter who need medical attention, DelValle said.

"We have created The Rudy Fund," she said.

Thus far, DelValle has been unable to track down Rudy's owner. Rudy was brought into the animal shelter after he was found in Hayden. Although Rudy is expected to make a full recovery, the next obstacle the shelter faces is finding him a home.

DelValle expects for Rudy to be kept at the veterinarian's office for the next two days and then returned to the shelter.

Before the dog can be adopted, DelValle said Rudy will need a "foster parent" to take care of him while he recovers from the surgery.

The staff has given the dog his name because of the movie "Rudy," which is based on Dan "Rudy" Ruettiger's effort to earn a college degree and play football at Notre Dame.

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