MSUís Lucky Fund helps struggling pet owners afford quality care
EAST LANSING, Mich. — As Michigan’s economic upheaval continues and pet owners struggle to afford adequate care, Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is lending a helping hand with the Lucky Fund.
As more and more owners look to use the service, however, the college is seeing the fund rapidly decrease, said Pat LeBlanc, director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
“The fund helps subsidize veterinary bills for owners whose pets have a good chance at recovery and otherwise cannot afford the care and cannot obtain credit to finance it,” LeBlanc said of the fund, which is used several times a month. “With the economy, we’re finding more and more owners who need to access it, and the fund as a result is very low right now.”
The story behind the Lucky Fund began in March 1995 when an 8-month-old German shepherd and collie mix was struck by car. Picked up by a stranger and without any information on the owner, the dog was brought to MSU where it received care thanks to the contributions from the community.
The dog was renamed Lucky, and with more money left over than was needed for the animal’s care, the Lucky Fund was born.
For Bill Ford of Monroe, the fund meant the ability to repair a broken leg for his yellow Labrador, Floyd. Floyd jumped from the back of Ford’s stationary pickup truck and suffered a spiral fracture of his tibia. After being treated at a local emergency clinic, Floyd was brought to MSU.
MSU orthopedic surgeon Terri Zachos performed a minimally invasive surgery, which involved making tiny incisions into the dog’s leg, and then using a fluoroscope X-ray machine to implant an external fixator to set the bone.
“He was a great patient and did really well,” Zachos said of Floyd, who was discharged a day later. “Using this technique we didn’t have to open up a wound, which will drastically cut down on his recovery time and limit the chance of complication.”
After six weeks of therapy, Floyd will return to MSU to have the surgical pins and bars removed, Zachos said.
Tax-deductible contributions to the Lucky Fund can be sent to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Business Office, Room A198, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., 48824.
Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.