Give Coco a Home
Organized by: Anna Simmons
EVENT DATE Nov 30, 2014
UPDATE: Coco will arrive at DFW on Monday morning!!! I am so very excited and want to thank all of you for your help and support. If you would still like to donate, I could still use the help. Our final cost to bring Coco to the US is $1,972.00. Which means that we have $1,547.00 left to raise! Most of this cost I will be paying myself, but any little bit does help. Thank you!
Coco's story: I first met Coco while I was volunteering for the Esther Honey Clinic in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. I had decided to take this volunteer trip as a chance to travel during my fourth year of veterinary school. Who wouldn't want to visit the South Pacific and get away from the Wisconsin cold? I arrived in Rarotonga at 6am their time, after 21 hours of traveling! Brutal. After a long nap I decided to explore the beautiful island. I had received most of my veterinary education at Ross University in St. Kitts, West Indies, so tiny islands with lots of roaming animals was nothing new to me. What I didn't expect was to meet Coco.
Here she comes, trotting onto the clinic grounds like she lived there...little did I know that she didn't. It turns out that there were many dogs who strayed onto the clinic property and would hang out. I mean, there's really no better place to get lots of hugs and love than at an animal clinic with volunteers who have paid lots of money to be there and help animals.
Coco was different than the other dogs that came and went. She's about 7 years old, 45lbs, tall and lean, brown with a cute white area on the side of her muzzle, and big brown eyes that are all knowing and loving. Coco would run beside me when I biked around the island on my days off (20 miles in diameter!). She came with us to the Saturday markets. She went on beach walks and swims. If we took the car to a restaurant halfway across the island, Coco would show up half an hour later, having run the distance to hang out with us! She even, unbeknownst to the clinic manager, would crawl through the open windows at night into our sleeping quarters to snuggle. She just wanted to belong and be loved.
For the three weeks that I volunteered, and many weeks before and after, Coco rarely left the clinic (even before I started secretly feeding her, and recruited the other volunteers to do so as well). I inquired about her owner...she had no collar and was obviously only being fed by us, and determined that the owner had left the island and abandoned her. Coco was now homeless, and I had to abandon her to head back to the U.S. My heart was broken. I promised her that I would bring her home, and I snuggled her tight the night before I left. Leaving her was the hardest thing to do.
I am a doctor of Veterinary Medicine. I have spent my entire life rescuing animals (ask my mom, my vet school roomate, and my poor fiance of 8 years, who has tolerated the many strays in our household). But I have NEVER felt so attached to an animal so quickly as I have to Coco. She is a special girl with a heart of gold and a beautiful old soul (if you believe in such things). She deserves better than to live with no true family and to die alone with no one that cares. All that girl seemed to want was love and a sense of belonging. With your help, I can provide that and so much more.
Now that I'm all teary, let's talk money. The estimated cost, as of now, to have Coco shipped from Rarotonga to L.A., California, and then to Dallas, Texas (where I recently moved for a job), via Air New Zealand is approximately $2500-$3000 US. This estimate is based on the experience of the EH clinic manager who has sent many pets from Rarotonga to the US. It includes that of the crate that will be shipped to the island (because there are none there for Coco to use), the cost of airfare via Air New Zealand, and the donation to the Esther Honey Clinic required to microchip Coco and provide an export permit. Unfortunately, as a newly graduated veterinarian with a moderate income, a butt load of loan debt, and having just paid to move across country, I cannot afford the entirety of these costs. This is where you come in...
The final cost to bring Coco is $1,972.00! That includes the cost of the crate that was shipped from NZ to Rarotonga, the flight on Air NZ and the flight on AA, the pet care company fee while Coco is in LA, and the cost to have Coco microchipped, dewormed, etc.
Also, I'll be buying Coco a new bed (though I'm sure she'll sleep on mine anyway) and LOTS of new toys. Don't worry, I'll be paying those costs on my own ;). She will live with me, my fiance, and our other dogs in Dallas, Texas. She will have the best veterinary care (provided by me, of course) and all of the love in the world. She'll go on long walks/runs around White Rock Lake and play frisbee in our big backyard. Most importantly though, Coco will have a home with a family that loves her, provides for her, and will be by her side as long as she lives.
Thank you for reading. And please remember, even the smallest donation will help. Okay, that is all. :)