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      Shamrock Animal Fund helps sick pet dog for Syracuse family in financial need

      Ruby Tuesday's surgery / photo: Shamrock Animal Fund

      The Shamrock Animal Fund story of "Ruby Tuesday", the Jack Russell terrier mix from Syracuse, will air on NBC3, CBS5 and CW6 Tuesday night. Ruby has recovered wonderfully from the surgery to remove a tumor that weighed more than a pound as it swayed from her belly. Ruby is planning an appearance on Wayne TMs Weather Deck Tuesday night on NBC3 at 5:30. She will underscore the power of people pitching in to help animals in our Central New York community.

      Our CNY Central Facebook Charity Challenge is counting up to 15,000 fans on our CNY Central Facebook page. When we hit that goal, $1,000 will go to the Shamrock Animal Fund and the Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Foundation.

      Ruby Tuesday, the bright nine-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix, bounded in her front yard barking at the people walking by her house on Syracuse's northeast side. Her tail wagged in the bright early spring sunshine as her family held her leash from the front steps. The Standos rescued Ruby from the DeWitt Animal Hospital eight years before. Her previous owner abandoned her. She has been the shining light in the Standos' home every since.

      Despite that sunny disposition, Ruby had a pressing medical issue. She had a large mass hanging from her abdomen. The pace of growth had quickened in recent weeks. Henry Stando once worked at the now closed Marsellus Casket factory. He has struggled to find a decent paying job. Shifts as a custodian at Wal-Mart have just been enough to keep the family going and get his truck on the road. His wife Frances suffers from her own medical issues. Their 12-year-old son James attends nearby Huttington School. Adding to their financial picture, their house where they have raised their son was being threatened with foreclosure.

      Lack of money had kept the Standos from bringing their beloved dog to the veterinarian for care, but Ruby Tuesday's mass could no longer be ignored. It had grown so large it would occassionally bleed when knocked on the steps. Henry contacted the Shamrock Animal Fund for help.

      Shamrock Animal Fund President Jamie Pomilio-Mulcahy explained how the fund works. The owner must take some financial responsibility and the veterinary hospital must offer a discount or financial accommodation. The Shamrock Animal Fund then helps pay part of the bill. The Standos' next door neighbor was willing to put up some money to help. Jamie directed the Standos to check online sites such as for additional help. The Fairmount Animal Hospital stepped in to help the Standos.

      Dr. Sarah Guest and the Fairmount team did the initial exam and X-ray. The mass needed to come off. It did not appear to be malignant or have spread inside the body. A week later she performed the surgery with the assistance of Dr. Erin Corrigan.

      Inside the operating room Ruby has been put under. The staff is scrubbed and gloved. They set Ruby on her back to maximize the view of the tumor. The surgical lights shine on this unusual growth. Dr. Guest begins the deliberate process of detaching it from Ruby's belly. Extensive training at Cornell University's Veterinary College did not previously expose Dr. Guest to a case quite like this one. The size of the mass required an assistant to hold it to allow the doctor to sever the tissue with the scalpel. It took more than an hour of cutting, monitoring blood pressure and readjusting instruments before reaching the critical moment.

      Dr. Corrigan assisted as Dr. Guest made certain that key blood vessels were properly tied off. Then there was the final snip. Ruby had been freed from the mass. Veterinary Technician Chris Berry wrapped the tissue in surgical cloth. It weigh more than a pound. The doctors went to work closing Ruby's belly.

      She spent the night recovering at Fairmount. Then went home to a happy Stando family. James has spring break from school this week. He's happy to help Frances care for Ruby. They credit the Shamrock Animal Fund and Fairmount Animal Hospital for getting their pet the care she desperately needed.

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