My name is Debra Russell, I am reaching out to anyone who can please help me save my Black Russian Terrier service dog, Val.

On 7/21, Val had surgery to remove a lump on his lower jaw, in front of his left fang. The biopsy came back on Monday 7/24, with the terrible news that Val has Squamous Cell Cancer!!!

I was devastated and in a state of shock as he is only 2-year-old!!! His oncologist said the good news is that we caught it so early, though the margins came back with cancer cells, so Val will need another surgery ASAP before it spreads! Unfortunately, I cannot even schedule this surgery until I have at least $4,000 to give the vet.

Val is my physical and emotional support dog. Val was just approved as a Full-service dog at the end of June and we just received his certificate 7/21. We worked so hard together to achieve this. He is my left arm and leg in many ways. He helps me with residual PTSD from 9/11 and from my husband’s sudden passing at age 42 which occurred 3 years ago. I worked in NYC and was right there on 9/11, losing many clients and most of my friends. I also have an older spine injury (a crushed c2 vertebrae) which has left me with nerve damage on my entire left side. I am basically a hair’s breadth away from being in a wheelchair just like Christopher Reeve. Val has been my cure for so much and my helper for the remaining issues. My doctor is amazed I am still walking and mobile! All this happened because of Val.

Val’s oncologist says Val has a 90% chance of being cancer free and being able to adapt and live a normal life after the surgery but this operation will be very expensive so I am hoping I can raise the funds as soon as possible, so I can schedule the surgery ASAP.

I got Val on the first anniversary of my husband’s passing as I was all alone, fighting depression, PTSD, and other health issues. I haven’t worked since January 2017 so do not have the funds to cover the upcoming surgery and other follow up treatments.

Having this operation is lifesaving to Val and extremely important to me. With heavy emotions, I request your support. I am doing this to give Val a fighting chance. Please help me save my beloved service dog and give Val a chance to live his life to its full potential. I cannot imagine my life without him to help me every day like he does!

Thank you for all of your help and support!

Debra and Val Rusell


 See top
  • Lillian Bolfer 
    • $10 
    • 42 mos
  • Tony Daniel 
    • $30 
    • 42 mos
  • Kyla Kazuschyk 
    • $10 
    • 42 mos
  • Teri MacMillan 
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Gail Tucker 
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
See all


Debra Russell 
Orlando, FL
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more