Generous donations have seen over £500 raised in just 24 hours to help a Gaywood couple to pay for a vital heart operation which they hope will save the life of their dog, Willow.
Denique Hewitt, 23, and her boyfriend, Luke Bridge, 25, set up the fundraising page on Wednesday after hearing the news that their one-year-old dog, Willow, had heart disease and might need surgery to survive.
Within hours, the page had been shared nearly 300 times across Facebook and Twitter, raising over £500 in just 24 hours and bringing the couple closer to their £2,000 target.
Denique Hewitt, 23, said: “It’s been really emotional but Luke set up the fundraising page and put it on Facebook, we were amazed how quickly it spread. So many people were donating and loads more said they planned to help out.”
Her partner, Luke Bridges, 25, added: “I just want to thank everybody who has donated.”
Denique first spotted that Willow’s stomach was swollen and she was walking slower on Saturday, she took the French Mastiff to be looked over at Companion Care Vets at Hardwick’s Pets At Home store.
Julie Clark, joint venture partner at the practice, said: “Willow has suspected heart disease with a very poor prognosis and we have referred her to the cardiologist at Millhouse Vets for further investigation.”
Denique said: “Her heart will just give up at some point but we’re waiting to see the specialist to find out how long she has. I couldn’t believe it with her being so young, we were just broken at the news.”
Luke added: “We couldn’t believe it. We’re still in shock because she was just fine the day before, and now she might die.”
The couple, who live on The Grange Estate, have had Willow for just over a year after she was the only puppy in a litter bred by Denique’s mother.
Luke said: “We were so attached to her, we couldn’t bear to let her be sold. We also have a Dalmatian called Hendrix and they absolutely love each other, they cuddle up at night.
“She’s just the friendliest dog ever – like a big teddy bear. Everyone just falls in love with her because she’s so good-natured.”
The couple are now hoping the generous donations will continue so they stand a chance of saving Willow’s life and stopping Hendrix from being lonely without her.
Luke said: “We just want to try and give a young dog a good life, she’s so young she’s barely lived her life yet. This is going to cost thousands, and I just don’t have that kind of money.
“I’m begging for help, and I appreciate anything helps save Willow’s life, she does not have long left so it’s a race against time.”
If you would like to donate to help save Willow – go to www.gofundme.com/9630b0