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'Street Vet' Raises $15K For Modesto Vietnam Vet Who Couldn't Afford Surgery For Pet In Need

MODESTO (CBS13) – A Modesto veterinarian is helping out a Vietnam War vet with a sick dog.

The kind gesture came after an x-ray showed the pet had more than a hundred bladder stones.

Loyal pet owner Richard Lyons and his corgi mix, Courtney, have a bond that goes beyond pet and owner.

"She's family. She was literally at death's door when I adopted her from the county animal shelter," Lyons said. "Had not I been notified, she'd be euthanized the following morning."

The two have been on plenty of walks in six years, but Lyons noted she had to stop to do her business a lot more often, and then he saw something else at home.

"Her pee stains were brownish, so I knew something off," Lyons said.

Lyons, a Vietnam War veteran, took his cherished Courtney to their vet, the renowned street vet Dr. Kwane Stewart.

Stewart found out pretty quickly that Courtney was in a rough spot after doing a physical exam of her stomach and then taking x-rays of her bladder.

"She had more bladder stones than I've ever seen in one dog before," Stewart said.

Stewart told CBS13 it looked like at least 100 stones in Courtney's bladder. Surgery was needed and it came at a high price tag of $3,200. It would've been a tough road for Lyons to pay for the surgery. He was determined to have it done for his beloved dog.

"I'm on a 100 percent VA disability, PTSD," Lyons said.

"What I have coming in is what I have coming in.

Lyons said he would've done whatever it took to get the surgery done for Courtney, even if he had to make some big sacrifices.

But Stewart, who is known for helping others, wouldn't let a person in a tough spot and their pet go without care. He wanted to lend a helping hand to someone in need but, wanted to make sure if it would be OK to find donations first.

"I think he's a prideful man. He's ex-military and a war veteran. I wanted to respect that. But when I mentioned gently would you mind if I offered some help. He said 'absolutely,'" Stewart said.

Stewart used his social media platforms and GoFundMe page to spread the word about Lyons and Courtney's situation. He said around 300 people donated and the number of donations that were raised was $15,000.

The vet then surprising Lyons soon after and told him that the dedicated pet owner didn't have to pay a dime for the surgery.

"I'll be eternally grateful to who donated. I don't know what I would've done if I lost Courtney," Lyons said.

Courtney is the first major non-elective surgery at Stewart's clinic.

He removed close to 400 bladder stones, which could've been life-threatening to this pup.

The experience exemplifies what this vet believes.

"It's really validating. It is one of the pillars in which we opened this practice one of the philosophies I've long held. That we try to help those in need when we can," Stewart said.

Stewart told CBS13 that some of the remaining donations for Courtney's surgery will be set aside for Lyons' other pets and their medical care. He will also put some into his non-profit for other clients in need like Lyons and Courtney.

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