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WBZ Cares: Shadow Fund Volunteers Say Saving Pets Is Humbling

BOSTON (CBS) – The WBZ Cares campaign is now underway.

Each month, WBZ Newsradio 1030 will highlight a worthy non-profit organization and tell the story of what it does for the community.

For the month of June, WBZ Cares is profiling The Shadow Fund, which helps pet owners pay for life saving medical treatment for their companion animals.

The campaign will involve news reporting, public service announcements and interviews.

The fund was created by a professor at the Mass School of Law to help veteran Marine Robert Burke, who planned to quit his job so he could access his 401-k to pay for his dog Shadow's expensive knee surgery.

The Andover Animal Hospital has teamed up with the Shadow Fund over the years to perform hundreds of surgeries and medical procedures on pets in need.

Veterinarian Hamilton Lincoln says those surgeries range from the minor and ordinary like shaving down a matted cat to the more intricate and major surgeries.

"We've done cruciate ligament repairs, splenectomies', eye nucleation where the eye needs to be removed because of disease process, severe diabetes cases, and ear infections [and] skin infections."

Dr. Lincoln says it's a great feeling knowing he's helping folks who are down on their luck and can't afford their pets expensive medical bills.

"It's nice to be able to help people in the community that need a little bit more assistance and try to provide care for their loved pets…keep them healthy as long as we can. Over the years it's become more clear in our society that pets are really part of the family and not just a possession."

Diane Lindsey, Owner of Andover Animal Hospital (Photo Credit: Diane Lindsey/Andover Animal Hospital)

Diane Lindsey owns the Andover Animal Hospital. Her father helped perform the very first surgery on Burke's dog in 2007.

"My dad said he'd do it at half price…they raised 3 times to 4 times the amount of money they needed, so they had this extra money and they started the fund. We helped them [and worked with them] to help people in need. We do things at discounted prices and we try to get people to pay for some of it. Try to pay it forward, keep the fund going." Lindsey said.

Lindsey says she's humbled by the responses she gets from the pet owners who are helped through the Shadow Fund.

"Some of them are crying -- they are hysterical," she said. "Some of them really just fall apart and they are just so thankful and that makes it all worth everything that we do."

If you'd like to donate, you can visit their website.

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