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Tennessee Community Raises $7K for Stranded Dog

The people of Dandridge recently proved why Tennessee is famous for being the Volunteer State. As per WATE, Knoxville’s ABC affiliate, a dog had been wandering loose in the town for several weeks. The big, white, fluffy dog wore a harness with a broken leash.

Multiple locals reached out to a nearby animal rescue advocate named Leia Hyder. She created a rescue plan and decided to fundraise for the animal’s vet bills.

Despite frequent sightings of the dog, the community couldn’t capture him since he was running scared and likely very hungry.

Community concern grew as dog faced cold and injury

Amidst approaching cold weather, worries heightened about the dog’s safety. Later sightings indicated a possible leg injury, intensifying concerns. Leia Hyder and Jessica Hubbard scoured Dandridge in search of the dog, eventually spotting a large, fluffy figure on Gaut Road.

Hyder and Hubbard worried they might have arrived too late and approached cautiously. Eventually, the dog slowly came closer. They contacted Jefferson County Animal Control, who took the canine to Lakeway Animal Hospital in Jefferson City for assessment, where the staff was already prepared to help.

When the time came to tell the dog’s name to the vet, Hyder went for the first word that appeared in her mind. She named him Gaut, which happens to be the name of the road where they found the stranded pup.

The vet concluded Gaut required surgery for a broken humerus, further X-rays, and ongoing care. The total medical cost remains uncertain as potential additional surgeries are being considered for a later time, according to Hyder.

Money raised for medical bills through Facebook

Hyder shared the update on Facebook and went on to ask users to donate money for Gaut’s vet bills. Generous contributions poured in from across the nation, including from as far as Colorado, as people sent money through Venmo, Zelle, and even direct payments to the vet. In addition to this, a donation box was set up at the Roper Mansion in downtown Dandridge.

Hyder expressed her surprise at the kindness shown, especially when one person pledged their entire remaining bank balance to aid the dog. Another generous donor contributed $2,500. In the end, donations for Gaut totaled around $7,000. These funds will cover Gaut’s continuing medical needs and subsequent care.

Lena Sprowl reached out to Hyder with the intention of fostering Gaut until a permanent home can be arranged.

Hyder and Sprowl are teaming up to search for a loving family to adopt the resilient and adorable dog. Thankfully, Gaut has grown to be friendly around people and has received a loving nickname, “Sweet Giant Beast.” Hyder is adamant about finding Gaut a compassionate family capable of offering the extra care he needs following surgeries, which he might require throughout his life.


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