Murphy met his family, Catie McCafferty and her boyfriend Joe Carey, when he was 3-months-old. The Dachshund, now 4, has been described as a super active pup, often running around his house and backyard in Northeast Philadelphia.
McCafferty, in an e-mail to Limerick Patch, said that Murphy loved playing soccer and volleyball, using tennis balls.
He would also be taken for walks in local parks for exercise.
“We haven’t in a few months though,” McCafferty said in the e-mail. “Because, the ground is too cold for his little feet.“
Just about a week before the official start of spring, Murphy was taken to his veterinarian, who gave McCafferty and Carey some bad news.
According to McCafferty, Murphy had recently become lethargic and had trouble with his mobility or being able to stand on his own. The vet explained that Murphy was experiencing trouble with his spinal cord and that Murphy should see a veterinary neurologist. McCafferty and Carey took Murphy to the neurologist on March 12, and found that he had a slipped disk.
In order to avoid further damage, it was suggested that Murphy be strictly bound to his cage until something could be done about his spine.
“Like I said before, he is an active puppy, so having him in a cage all the time is torture,” McCafferty said. “We haven’t been able to hold him or cuddle with him since.”
McCafferty said that the veterinarians gave them one option, to have an MRI done so surgery could be performed, which would fix Murphy’s spine and free the disrupted nerves.
With the one option, came one catch: the procedure would cost $6,000.
“Seconds after walking out of the neurologist’s office, our brains were already scrambling trying to figure out how we could get that kind of money,” McCafferty said.
Both McCafferty and Carey work full-time jobs, however the cost of the surgery was beyond what they could save in a short amount of time. She said that it would have taken them close to a year to save the needed funds.
According to McCafferty, because of Murphy’s condition, she found out that he was not qualified for a CareCredit medical credit card.
Since finding out about the slipped disk, the couple turned to fundraising events, such as concerts with donation buckets. However, their most successful fundraising endeavor was an online campaign through www.gofundme.com, which began March 13 and has raised $6,398, as of the afternoon of March 20.
“The fact that there are such kind people out there that got us to where we are now is surprising and absolutely amazing,” McCafferty said.
According to McCafferty, she had tried the fundraising website, after finding out about it from friends online.
McCafferty credits her and Carey’s family and friends, including those in the Limerick area, as the ones helping to spread the word about the fundraising campaign. However, she gives major credit to a very special group of people.
“You would never believe it, but there is a huge dachshund community out there with people who care about every dachshund as if it were their own,” McCafferty said. “They are amazing.”
Murphy’s surgery, originally slated for March 19, has been pushed back to March 26, as the funds did not clear the bank in time, McCafferty said.
However, the family is not out of the woods yet, as McCafferty found that once Murphy is out of surgery, they can expect aftercare and prescription costs to amount to at least $1,700, to which the Murphy gofundme.com site has adjusted its goal to $7,700.
McCafferty and Carey are hoping that Murphy is fully recuperated by the summer, as they miss going on long walks together.
“Maybe we’ll drive him down to look at the beach, since that’s his favorite place,” McCafferty said.