Surgery for Harvey Dent

This is Harvey Dent. My little 40 pound Coonhond mix rescue. He’s about one and a half years old and is spunky, super crafty, big hearted, and loves being outside just as much as I do. 


Harvey was adopted Mother’s Day of 2017 as a shy and timid puppy with a giant thick leathery and furless patch of skin covering the whole of the left side of his head. The rescue organization, Furrever Friends, out of Rolling Meadows, IL, had told me it was a scar from being very abused as a puppy and getting boiling water poured on his head as some sort of punishment. I was also assured, in contract, that the rescue had seen specialists on his head and that no other complications would happen, except the occasional scratch and scab from play with other dogs.

Nearly 3 weeks after adoption, that leathery patch became visibly purple, swelled 3x its size and broke open with a horribly painful and infected area that was suddenly life threatening. After a very costly emergency surgery and biopsy extractions, we found out that Harvey’s leathery-furless-head-patch was actually a genetic condition he was born with: dermoid cysts.

According to WebMd, “A dermoid cyst is a saclike growth that is present at birth. It contains structures such as hair, fluid, teeth, or skin glands that can be found on or in the skin.” Dermoid Cysts WebMD 

At this point, I reached out to the rescue I adopted Harvey from. Their response was to either take Harvey back so I didn’t have to deal with his (undisclosed upon adoption) medical condition, or, they offered to help raise money through a GoFundMe. I thought this was gracious of them and accepted the help to raise money. However, after they raised a good amount of funds (a lot of which came from people I personally knew, out of their geneousity to help me), they rescue took the funds and kept them. They also changed their phone numbers and moved houses so fighting this injustice became very difficult. Afte reaching out to GoFundMe and filing a police report, I could not afford to hire an attorney to help complete this process. This matter is still unresolved, but I will continue to try and battle it. If for nothing else but justice and a hope Furrever Friends Rescue can never steal from their adoptee dogs again.
(The original GoFundMe created by Vikki of Furrever friends in late 2017. She stole all his donations soon after this.)

Back to my boy: after two other small, but costly, surgeries to fix, drain, and help with keeping the cyst growth at bay by my incredible vet, Dr. Janet Dornhoff in Buffalo Grove, IL, we desperately needed to see a board certified specialty vet surgeon to get these cysts removed once and for all. Without this next major surgey, they cysts could continue to grow and possibly travel down the spinal column, making this life treatening. 

My buddy has already had so many obstacles in life: being a stray, then abused by previous owners, getting pawned off and adopted out by his rescue organization without them testing or treating his medical condition, and having done 2 big surgeries in his first year and a half of life to keep him from dying from infections his cysts have caused.
(Harvey at daycare beging a good boy)

Details on the surgery to be preformed:
-CT scan to be preformed to view holes in skull bone that may be housing dermoid cysts.
-The large patch of tough, leathery skin on Harvery’s left side of head and face to be cut back and removed.
-They dermoid cysts to be extracted, getting out every mutated cell.
-Digging out bone and mutated cells if required from CT scan.
-A fur flap from Harvey’s neck to be cut away from neck, turned and attatched to the area where the skin on his skull was removed.
-Recovery for up to 3 weeks.

We would like to get this final and lasting surgery done ASAP but need help getting there. Dr. Elaine Holmes from MedVet Chicago will be preforming Harvey’s operation as soon as we can raise the money for him. 
(His coming up surgery and CT costs)

Harvey has decreased my anxiety and depression, made me more responsible and accountable for my time, money, happiness and actions. He has quickly become a vital part of my life and I want our lives together to be long, healthy, and so enjoyable. Harvey enjoys his time at day-care, snuggles hard in the morning, and loves other dogs and humans. I am a full time student finishing my bachelors in psychology and nutrition. I am getting ready to apply to graduate programs and although I work 30 hours a week, I am just making ends meet for myself. So, I will be getting creative in funding this surgery as well; I am planning other fundraing events like a bake sale and donation based Yoga at the beach. If you could help out in these areas instead, please let me know.

Any size contribution would help us tremendously. Thank you!

Shara and Harvey

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Shara Brandon 
Chicago, IL
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