Animal rescue hosting pup portrait sessions to raise funds for dog’s life-changing surgery

Five-month-old Sonny was diagnosed with a grade four heart murmur that requires a pricey surgery in Minneapolis, Minn. (Source: Manitoba Underdogs Rescue)

Manitoba canines - get ready for your close-ups.

Local pooches are invited to get their pictures snapped to raise money for a fellow pup’s life-changing heart surgery.

The Manitoba Underdogs Rescue (MUR) is inviting folks to bring down their dogs to Morier Park on Oct. 16 and 17 to have their photographs professionally taken. The event is called Heart Dogs for Sonny.

“A heart dog is somebody who is that once-in-a-lifetime, special dog who comes into your life and you just click. You get each other. You know each other,” explained Tara Maslowsky, events coordinator with Manitoba Underdogs Rescue.

All proceeds go towards paying for a crucial surgery for Sonny. The five-month-old, Great Dane mix was surrendered to MUR after being diagnosed with canine parvovirus – a highly contagious viral disease that can commonly cause gastrointestinal illness in puppies.

After further examination, Sonny was also diagnosed with a grade four heart murmur.

The only treatment available is at the Veterinary Medical Centre in Minneapolis, Minn. and comes with a hefty price tag of $6,500.

The rescue said the heart surgery will prolong and better Sonny’s life significantly.

“Without the surgery, he’s only given one to two years to live sadly, so we want to make sure we can help him in any way, shape or form, and that’s what we’re going to try and do,” said Maslowsky.

She said if the surgery is successful, Sonny will live a next-to-normal life without symptoms or side effects. The surgery is booked for next month.

To foot the pricey bill, Manitobans are invited to pre-book their photo sessions. Each is $50 per dog, plus $5 for each additional dog.

“We have a professional photographer on site who’s going to be able to take pictures of just your pup or if you want to be in it and make it a family photo, you can definitely do that as well, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will go towards Sonny’s surgery,” Maslowsky explained.

Participants are also sent home with a thank you goody bag for their dog.

Maslowsky said slots are filling up quickly, so anyone interested should book now. Otherwise, folks can also give monetary donations on the MUR website.