LA VISTA (KPTM)-
After being found abandoned by the side of the road in Ashland, NE, struggling with a 5-pound tumor, one 7- year old Chocolate lab is getting a new lease on life.
"Co Co" has a generous community and a kind-hearted veterinarian to thank for having a 5- pound tumor removed from her mammary glands. It is one of about 7 tumors Co Co had removed for free on Tuesday.
"It gives her a new lease on mobility. She was swinging around a 5 pound abdomen," said Val Verde veterinarian, Mark Hord.
He says he decided to do the surgery at no cost after seeing the dog on the news. "My wife and I talked about it, and we said we'd just go ahead and do the surgery ourselves, write off the costs of the surgeries," said Hord.
He also spayed Co Co and removed her mammary glands, hoping that will keep the tumors from coming back. He says had she been spayed at a younger age, she may have never had the tumor problem.
Co Co is now about five pounds lighter, and has found a new home in Mandy Carter, a volunteer at the Ashland Dog Pound who took Co Co in as a foster.
"No words can ever explain how it feels," said Carter. "It's been overwhelming, exciting, stressful, scary, every single emotion you can think of is what I've gone through today."
Carter says she's thankful and shocked that Hord could do the surgery so quickly.
"It has brought tears to all of our eyes multiple times over the last week," said Ashland Dog Pound volunteer Beth Hartman- Brown.
She says the pound raised nearly $3,500 from community donations. The money will go towards Co Co's recovery, as well as other needs around the pound. Brown says some months the pound has to get by on only $100 for food, toys and blankets.
"Were such a small place, we never expected any of this to ever happen," said Brown.
Carter says Co Co will have about 14 tennis balls waiting for her when she regains energy.
"I don't think she's even going to be the same Co Co. She's just going to be a happy, playful puppy for hopefully, you know, the next 8-10 years. We're only half way through her life," said Brown.
Hord hopes Co Co's story will remind people of the importance to have their animals spayed and neutered.
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