By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - Employees at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County are hoping the public will help them save a dog's eyesight.
The dog, an 18-month-old Shih Tzu named Snickers, arrived at the shelter about six weeks ago.
"The original owner dropped him off," said Rita Hart, outreach coordinator for the shelter. "Our vet took a look, and discovered his right eye had an ulcer and was infected. The vet had to remove the eye."
The dog in question, resting quietly on a desk, lifted his head and looked briefly around at the sound of his name, wagging his tail.
"He's a very loving animal," she said. "Despite his eyesight, we want to give him a chance to live a normal life."
While recovering from the surgery, it was discovered that Snickers' remaining eye was also showing signs of an ulcer.
"We took him to Dr. Todd Strubbe at the Animal Eye Specialty Clinic in Palm City," Ms. Hart said. "He believes the eye can be saved, but it will need some specialized care such as eye drops and follow-up care."
The estimated cost of the surgery and the follow-up care is approximately $2,000.
Afterward, Snickers will be placed for adoption.
"Since he's been with us, he's been neutered and brought up to date on all his shots," she said.
Currently, Snickers is being fostered by David Robertson's family. Mr. Robertson is the director of operations for the shelter.
"We're an open-admission shelter, and we see a lot of hard-luck cases come in," he said. "Occasionally, we see a special case come in like Snickers. He's going to make someone a wonderful pet."
The shelter has started a "Snickers fund" for his care.
"We're trying to get him the treatment he needs, and then he'll be available for adoption," Ms. Hart said. "His picture won't be up on the website until then."
For more information on Snickers and other animals available at the shelter, call (772) 461-0687. To see animals currently available for adoption, go online to www.hsslc.org.