Harry the Beagle Needs Surgery

Harry the beagle was rescued from a research lab by the caring folks at Northern CA Beagle Rescue in 2009. At 10 months old, he had never been outside, never walked on grass, never felt the ocean on his feet, and never snuggled on the couch in a loving home. That all changed when he came into my life. I am a marine biologist who studies sea otters, and from Harry's very first days at my side, he became my partner as I studied tagged wild sea otters. He kept a steady eye on the ground squirrels while I hunched over a spotting scope.  

We have been partners for many adventures along the Central California coast, from Santa Cruz to Pismo Beach.  As the devoted canine companion of a single woman who loves the outdoors and wildlife, Harry has been my best buddy for exploring trails and investigating nature. He waits for me while I photograph flowers, and I wait for him while he investigates smells. We were the best of travel companions on a 3-month, 8500-mile cross-country road trip in 2014.

I currently run an outreach and research program that is working to protect sea otters in California.  Wherever we go, Harry makes friends and draws people close with his calm demeanor and irresistible, velvety hound-dog ears.  He is our program mascot and an ambassador for sea otters. He loves life and approaches each day with joy and eagerness. 

A few weeks ago, Harry bolted unexpectedly from my vehicle and returned hobbling on three legs. One hind leg was held tenderly aloft, and it has barely touched the ground since that day. He has been diagnosed as having a complete tear to the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) of his left hind leg. Over several weeks we have explored conservative treatment options, but there has been no improvement. Without surgery, it is very unlikely Harry will ever be able to enjoy the outdoors the way he has since his first days away from confinement eight years ago.

Our veterinarian is recommending Harry have a tibial-plateau-leveling osteomy (TPLO) to correct his injured knee and allow him to walk normally. The prognosis is for a return to 95% functionality within eight weeks. Harry is otherwise healthy, not overweight, and a great candidate for a successful procedure.

The cost of the surgery plus aftercare amounts to $6,000. This expense is impossible for me to afford on a grant-funded biologist/educator's salary, so we are asking for help. My goal is to raise funds to defray the cost of his surgery by the end of August so I can schedule it before any further damage to the joint occurs. Please help Harry make it back to all four legs on the ground! We will be profoundly grateful for all contributions in support of Harry’s surgery and recovery from this injury. Thank-you for reading our story--you can follow our adventures then and our progress now @genaandharry on Instagram

We have an additional fundraiser live on Booster if you would like to contribute by purchasing a t-shirt with  original block print artwork created by Harry's human, Gena. 


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  • Eva Berberich 
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Candice Lin 
    • $40 
    • 43 mos
  • Lisa Kilgore 
    • $970 
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  • Michelle Staedler 
    • $100 
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  • John Bradford 
    • $1,000 
    • 43 mos
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Gena Bentall 
Castroville, CA
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