Angel’s Animal Rescue Society is asking the public for donations to help offset the cost of a recent rescue dog’s leg amputation.

Lady underwent the $3,300 surgery last week after members of the not-for-profit shelter investigated a tip from a concerned citizen.

“We got a call from a concerned individual who had seen the condition of the dog’s leg, so we attended and we noticed that it was severe,” Judanna Dawn-Caros, founder of Angel’s, said. She and her rescue crew found the dog tied to a chain about five feet long in a Merritt yard.

“When we arrived, Lady’s leg was probably 10 times the size it should’ve been,” Dawn-Caros said. “It was severely broken and infection had set in. It had been that way for quite some time, although the original owners wouldn’t give us any information.”

Dawn-Caros said the owner surrendered the shepherd cross that day, but she had no basis to ask for the other dog, which was also on a chain, she added. Dawn-Caros said Lady’s case is an extreme example of neglect, but prioritizing cases — even ones that are allegedly criminal – is necessary to run a shelter.

“Lady is number 1 right now. That’s one thing we don’t do, lay a whole bunch of judgement on people,” Dawn-Caros said. “We’re not going to blame you, we’re just here to help you. Even the individual that had Lady – I don’t know what her circumstances were. It’s not up to me to judge why, but it’s up to me to be able to provide help.”

The group raised $800 for Lady over the weekend at an event in Chilliwack, but the shelter’s operation costs don’t end with her surgery. The 38 dogs currently available for adoption, and others in the rehabilitation stage, have maintenance costs as well. Even with the $100,000 Pepsi grant Angel’s won last year – every penny of which Pepsi required to go towards construction and surgery costs within one year – veterinary and food bills total about $30,000 a year.

She has been operating the rescue since 2008 when she rescued Angel, the group’s namesake, from a car accident that killed two people.

She has also assembled a team of volunteers to help with cleaning, dog walking, and fundraising efforts, and said it takes a community to support the rescue’s efforts.

“Why us? We’re the kind of people who couldn’t say no, we had room for them, and nobody else was doing it. Somebody had to,” she said. “We can’t continue to do it without support. It’s everybody else that makes it possible. We’re just on the front line.”

Dawn-Caros said Angel’s is planning more fundraising events in the future for Lady, who has been recovering well in Dawn-Caros’ house and will be ready for adoption in a week.

She said anybody who needs help with a dog or sees that a dog might need help is encouraged to provide an anonymous tip to the group which prioritizes rescues based on the findings of its own investigations.

“It takes a lot of courage [to call for help] and we commend those that step up to the plate to help their animal friends. We want to encourage people, when they see forms of neglect or abuse, to please call someone and don’t just turn the other cheek and think it’s not your problem,” she said.

Monetary donations can be made at either of the city’s two veterinarian offices or directly to Angel’s Animal Rescue Society. Information about how to donate is available at AngelsAnimalRescue.ca