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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Community rallies behind Willie

Published:   |   Updated: June 15, 2013 at 08:22 PM

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Willie the dachshund has been through a lot in his two months on Earth.

Veronica Johnson, who took in Willie as a rescue when he was about 5 weeks old, said that his medical conditions — a deformity in one of his eyes and a double hernia — are mainly a result of his breeding.

Johnson decided to take Willie in because he would likely be euthanized if she didn’t.

Johnson said Willie has a chance, if he has surgery, which is estimated around $1,300.

On Saturday afternoon, Willie and Johnson arrived at the Sail Inn on Broad Street in Brooksville by motorcycle.

With beer flowing and music playing, a crowd of bikers heard Willie’s story and passed around the social puppy, as well as cash toward his cause.

“Bikers have the biggest hearts,” Johnson said, adding that many other local organizations have stepped in to help the puppy.

Once Willie’s health is back on track, Johnson intends to put him to work as a service dog for senior citizens in the county.

“I think he’ll have a good story to relate to the elderly,” said Johnson.

Johnson said she had raised about $300 toward Willie’s surgery before the Saturday benefit.

Donations for Willie are being accepted through Dr. Hicks at the Westside Animal Clinic at 3501 Commercial Way in Spring Hill.

The office can be reached by phone at (352) 683-1512.

(352) 544-5283

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