Donations help blind dog regain sight

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Thanks to the generous donations of others, Dec. 9 was a life-changing day for Dupree and his foster family. Dupree, a 6-year-old boxer, is blind.


While his blindness does not hinder his daily activities, Dupree’s foster mom and New Life Boxer Rescue volunteer Patricia O’Brien Roche of McMurray was determined to restore his sight.


“He’s such a sweet boy,” Roche said. “So if we could have his eyesight restored, why not?”


After having Dupree examined by a specialty veterinarian in the North Hills, Roche learned Dupree suffers from mature cataracts. An expensive surgery would restore sight in his right eye. Dupree’s left eye is full of glaucoma, and the retina is detached.


“It’s beyond repair,” she said. “We were given two options: to remove the eye and have a prosthetic put in place or remove the eye and have the eyelid sewn shut. We are still struggling with the news and the decision.”


The rescue group and Roche removed Dupree from a Pittsburgh shelter at the end of August. Roche said there’s no telling how long Dupree has been blind or if that was the reason he was given up for adoption.


“We were told his owner died and that the family couldn’t take him,” she said. “But you hear all kinds of stories.”


Although he was a shelter favorite, Roche believes Dupree wasn’t adopted, and has still not been adopted, because he is blind.


“We love him to pieces. If he doesn’t have a lot of interest (after the surgery), we are going to keep him,” she said. “But he’s not getting the attention he deserves.”


Roche said the rescue group, which is based out of New Jersey, doesn’t have a great deal of funds and relies on donations. Without the donations, the group would not be able to pay for Dupree’s surgery.


“We were given an estimate between $2,200 and $4,000,” she said. “I made a video and posted it on youcaring.com.”


In 10 days, Roche said the group exceeded its goal of $3,500.


“We raised $3,700, and we had a donation of $1,500 from a mysterious donor,” she said.


Roche said whatever amount is left unused will go into a general fund for the rescue group.


In the meantime, Roche said Dupree is busy being a dog. She looks forward to the day when Dupree will be able to put a face to her voice and roughhouse with her two boxers.


“The surgery will be a life-altering event,” she said. “Boxers live to play. He wants so badly to play with them. The first time he can will be so cool.”


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Published Dec 9, 2013 at 9:37 am (Updated Dec 9, 2013 at 9:37 am)

Donations help blind dog regain sight

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