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AHA 2013 SAR dog of the year John D. needs donations for hip replacement surgery

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John D. is a search and rescue dog living in Little Rock, Arkansas. Right now this courageous dog, who was recognized by the American Humane Association as 2013 Search and Rescue dog of the year, needs help funding a hip replacement.

John D. is a special dog. He's a five year old Border Collie-esque dog who was rescued from an animal shelter after being abandoned. He was only six weeks old.

About three years ago, John D. decided dogs should be given the chance to detect human cancers early enough to bring hope. He's trained in finding ovarian and thyroid cancer in humans and has proven himself in a study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

He also visits cancer patients and sits with them while they get treatment, so he's a therapy dog as well as a rescue dog. He's trained to find the missing and the dead, including being one of the few dogs who can perform water cadaver searches.

John D. and his mom need financial help to help cover the cost of hip replacement surgery, made necessary from hip dysplasia. The operation will run between $5,500 and $6,000. That's only for one hip. After he's recovered from the first operation, the other hip needs to be done.

It's likely John D's condition was caused in part by the line of work he's in. Sometimes saving lives comes with a high price for the hero.

John D. commented on his upcoming surgery on his Facebook page

"This is a big surgery and I am afraid. But I'm more afraid of not being able to do what I love. My job is to help people who are lost and to detect cancers. I refuse to give up as long as there is a fur left on my body."

The Sage Foundation is helping raise money necessary to ensure John D. doesn't have to retire before his time. Their foundation is there to protect the welfare of dogs who serve their country.

A video documenting his life can be viewed here (wouldn't embed).

For more information on how you can help, or to donate, please contact John D. on Facebook or through the Sage Foundation. He can also be reached at 501-350-9090 or by email at harrison@aristotle.net.

Please give if you can. If not, please share John D.'s story.

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