NORTH HALEDON, NJ - Pathway to Hope, an animal rescue shelter, is holding a fund-raiser on June 30 for one of its rescue dogs, Kaite.

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An 8-year old Alaskan Malamute, she was just found to have mammary cancer and heartworm disease. In order to have the best chance at living a full, happy life, Katie will need a bi-lateral mastectomy immediately. A Pathway to Hope is hosting a fundraiser for Katie this Sunday, at Jake's Place at Rockledge Garden Center from 4-7pm.

Katie was rescued from an out-of-state kill shelter and came to New Jersey on June 2.  She had an amazing will to live and a trusting, loving nature despite obvious abuse, neglect and poor health. Katie was grimy from head to toe, with legs that buckled with severe muscle atrophy.  She was almost bald around her neck, likely from living on a short chain her whole life.  Her vision was limited.

But when we saw Katie run freely for the first time, with her unsteady, yet carefree gait, we knew this girl had hope and was just now being given the chance to truly live.  Upon arrival in her foster home in North Haledon, Katie seemed to feel safe and at peace, likely for the first time in her life, and she slept about 12 hours straight that first night, waking up with a howl and an excited, wagging tail.  She quickly bonded to her foster family’s three year old son, following him everywhere with eager curiosity.  Katie was happy and at home, but unfortunately her journey doesn’t end there.

Katie’s biopsy results came back, and our fear for her was confirmed.  Cancer was found in Katie’s mammary glands.  Guided by Katie’s primary care veterinarian, Dr. Silberman of Tri-County Animal Hospital in Wayne, x-rays were done to see if Katie’s cancer had spread throughout her body.  Amazingly, the tumors seemed to be contained, and we visited an oncologist the next day, Dr. Renee Alsarraf at Animal Emergency Referral Center in Fairfield.  Katie was found to have 16 more mammary tumors, and a bilateral radical mastectomy was recommended immediately, at the hospital under the care of their specialists, as Katie’s risk is increased due to heartworm disease.  Surgery, estimated at $5,000, was scheduled for July 3rd.

The question many may now ask…why spend SO much money on one dog, one life, when there are so many more out there in need in better shape with longer life expectancies?  Katie’s cancer can’t be cured, but she can have a chance for a life with this surgery.  She can have a chance for happiness, with a family that will love her, a soft bed, a yard to run around in and a little boy who has found his best friend in his new “puppy.”

The first time we saw Katie run was such an amazing experience.  She ran alongside the family’s three year old with her legs dragging behind her and her front legs bouncing high to keep her balance despite her failing body.  Her unsteady, yet unwavering gait screamed freedom and hope after eight long years tied to a chain, neglected and abused.  Katie plays like a puppy and wags her tail in excitement with every new person she meets.  She has an amazing spirit and is trusting of people, despite the abuse endured at the hands of humanity.  Will Katie’s cancer eventually come back?  Probably, but does that negate the fact that she deserves a fighting chance, just like any of us?  Katie has a will to live, and we want to give her that chance.  After eight long years, she deserves that. 

Without surgery, cancer will rapidly invade and take over Katie’s body.  With surgery, Katie will have hope for the life that she has deserved for so long.  Please help us to give Katie that hope.  Donations can be made online at www.apathwaytohope.org (please visit us to see a beautiful video of Katie) or to A Pathway to Hope, PO Box 165, Hawthorne, NJ 07507.

A cocktail party and fundraiser will be held at Jake’s Place at Rockledge Garden Center in Wayne from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 30th.  Our theme is “Look at Me Now,” to show off all of our beautiful Pathway dogs who have overcome so much to lead wonderful lives.  Stop by to meet Katie, enjoy a non-alcoholic cocktail and finger foods, bring your dog for their own refreshments and have their portrait taken, and more!  Visit www.apathwaytohope.org for more details. 

A Pathway to Hope, Inc. is committed to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of abandoned dogs and cats, with a special focus on south to north rescue of northern breed dogs, the rescue of stray cats, and community outreach to further the cause of rescue.