The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 27, 2013

‘All life is sacred’: Woman hoping to find funds for dog’s hip surgery

SOMERSET — When the Animal Medical Center in Somerset told one of its patrons, Rebecca Lindeman, about an ill German shepherd pup that could thrive with the right care and love, Lindeman jumped at the chance to adopt it.

Lindeman said the dog’s breeder could not afford extensive medical care for the pup, so she was glad to take on the responsibility.

Everything went all right for months, with Lindeman taking the dog for treatments at Animal Medical Center whenever a medical problem developed. The latest problem however, a hip replacement, is an expensive procedure, costing up to $5,000.

To help defray the costs, she is asking for financial support from the community.

She named the dog Ethel, in honor of her 96-year-old great-grandmother, who likewise is battling health problems.

Lindeman said that when she first got Ethel, the pup weighed just a little more than 3 pounds, about half of what she should have. One front leg was bent beneath her at an odd angle and the others were too weak to support her, she said.

“Maybe I understood her (Ethel’s) plight better than others,” said Lindeman, who has fibromyalgia and receives physical therapy from Western Pennsylvania Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic in Somerset,

The rehabilitation clinic was great, making a custom-built brace to support the bent leg while Ethel could learn to use and strengthen her other legs, she said. The clinic refitted the brace often due to Ethel’s growth spurts, she said.

Ethel was doing well and starting to walk under her own power when her hind legs began to fail. The veterinarian quickly got her walking again.

The Somerset Area Dog Training and Activity Club, of which Lindeman is a member, was instrumental in getting Ethel back into shape mentally and physically by socializing with other dogs and receiving agility training.

Then it happened again.

Lindeman noticed that Ethel was having problems with a hip. An X-ray revealed that Ethel had dysplasia of the hip.

The operation cannot be performed for six months, or until Ethel has physically matured, said Lindeman, who also has two rottweilers.

Lindeman said that she believes in euthanasia when there is no other choice, but that there is hope in Ethel’s case.

“I took Ethel in as a very sick little puppy because, to me, all life is sacred and a gift from God,” she said.

“I wasn’t sure back then if she’d make it, but I was certain that I could at least give her comfort, safety and love. Everyone and everything deserves at least that much.”

Thankfully, some good people like Dr. Vince Svonavec of the Animal Medical Center and Steve Podratsky of the rehabilitation clinic agreed with her, she said.

Susan Schrock, a member of the Somerset Area Dog Training club, said Ethel has such a joy for life.

“Even though she has these problems, she just wants to be active and play with other dogs,” she said.

Lindeman doesn’t want to give up on Ethel but needs the public’s support to accomplish that goal, Schrock said.

People wishing to help can do so by sending donations made payable to the Ethel Fund, Somerset Trust Co., P.O. Box 777, Somerset, Pa. 15501.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • foust_25 Teen shot in Oakhurst

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Thursday after being shot three times in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit: City overspent by $700G in 2013

    Legacy costs contributed significantly to the city of Johnstown coming up $689,000 short in its core services funding during 2013.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kuzma, jonathan Guilty plea in hammer death

    The Johnstown man who authorities said killed his father with a hammer last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • quecreek rescue Events to mark anniversary of Quecreek rescue

    When word spread that nine Quecreek miners were trapped underground in July 2002, Bill Arnold’s dairy farm quickly became the rescue effort’s ground zero.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huger, Stephen Accused Hornerstown shooter will stand trial

    A Johnstown man will stand trial in connection with a July 12 shooting in the Hornerstown section of the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Board names Zahorchak’s successor

    The Greater Johnstown school board at a special meeting Thursday named a superintendent to replace the retiring superintendent, rehired its last business manager and approved other administrative appointments.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pasquerilla, Mark Pasquerilla recognized as arts patron

    First lady Susan Corbett announced Thursday from the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., that Mark Pasquerilla of Johnstown has earned the Patron Award from the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebensburg gets ready to party

    Party down with a shutdown.
    Downtown Shutdown, a street party featuring music and food, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in downtown Ebensburg.

    July 24, 2014

  • ROTARY Local Rotary Club earns recognition

    The Rotary Club of Johnstown was named Outstanding Large Club of the Year in District 7330, which serves 42 Rotary Clubs in seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, at the Rotary District 7330 and District 7300 Joint Conference that was held June 26 through 29 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kara Baumgardner ‘I’m helping other people’: Forest Hills freshman donates regularly to Locks of Love

    Summerhill resident Kara Baumgardner has cut her hair a total of four times in the past five years.
    Each time, she has chopped off 10 to 12 inches for donation to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that makes wigs for those 21 and younger who have lost their hair due to medical conditions.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads