HUDSON — As medical bills pile up for Sammie, a young Great Dane abandoned at a local dog groomer last week, the owners of a Hudson business have stepped up to help collect money to pay the vet bills.
The two-year-old, female dog was found tied outside the Dunk'N Dogs grooming parlor Aug. 27, according to animal control officer Jana McMillan.
On Monday evening, police arrested the canine's owner who turned herself in after a police investigation.
Michelle Hogan, 44, of Hudson, faces charges of animal cruelty as well as failure to license or vaccinate her pet. She was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division, on Sept. 19.
McMillan said Sammie has "some serious medical issues" and was currently under the care of a veterinarian.
With some of her needs now being addressed, McMillan said the dog is responding to the treatments, though veterinarians believe several surgeries will be needed in the near future to address the large tumor on the dog's abdomen.
"She's going to be pretty expensive, but she's an absolute love," McMillan said. "And she deserves better."
Since the Hudson Police Department has limited staff and is unable to handle pet adoptions, McMillan said the plan would be to hopefully work with an area animal rescue to foster the animal during its recovery.
For now, though, Sammie will remain at an area veterinary clinic.
Kristi Griego, who owns the America's Pets store in Hudson with partner Lill Marks, has been collecting funds for the cause since learning about the Great Dane's situation last Thursday.
Griego said McMillan came into her store to ask if she recognized the dog. She didn't, but she definitely wanted to help.
"Whatever hard decision this dog's previous owners had to make, it was the wrong decision," Griego said, noting the dog's initial cancer surgery could cost up to $1,500.
"And that could be the first of many," she added. "Right now we don't know."
Over the long weekend, many local animal lovers were just hearing of the Great Dane's story and wanted to do what they could.
America's Pets already offers a VIP program to assist area animal rescue organizations. The program encourages each customer to donate $10 toward the VIP fund and in return, they get a 5 percent discount off store purchases for the following year.
With VIP funds, the store donated $500 toward the Great Dane's vet bills, and by Saturday morning customers had already donated an additional $1,000.
"She deserves a chance," Griego said.
Those wishing to assist the dog may stop by America's Pets at 142 Lowell Road or call 881-9247.