Blind World Magazine

Officer Comes To the Rescue Of Seeing Eye Dog.

The Denver Channel, Colorado.
Thursday, March 23, 2006.

DENVER -- A Denver police officer is being praised for going out of her way to help an elderly couple who depend on a Seeing Eye dog.

When the Seeing Eye dog of a blind woman and a man with terminal cancer became ill, they were very worried.

"Vida wasn't eating meals or drinking water for 24 hours, almost 48 hours," said Lee Zuberer. "I knew something was very wrong ... I tried to get someone I knew to help me find a vet, but I couldn't find anybody."

They called everyone they could think of to help. As a last resort, the couple called the police.

"We called 911 and they told us to call animal control but it wasn't five or 10 minutes later, and there was a knock on the door and it was her," said Zuberer.

Officer Samantha McPherren, a trained vet technician, saw that Vida was really sick and rushed the dog to an animal hospital. She also made sure the Zuberers wouldn't have to pay for the vet visit.

"I made sure they didn't have any financial hardships from it. They've got enough on their own. She's blind and her husband has cancer, so they don't have any money to pay for dog bills or anything like that," McPherren said. "There was a private donor, a citizen that gave $150 of his own money, and I told the hospital, whatever isn't paid, just bill me for it and I'd take care of it."

Zuberer was overwhelmed that a stranger would come to her rescue.

"They were very kind to me. They knew what she meant to me. If it wasn't for the officer taking the time to say (Vida's) more than a dog, she wouldn't be here," she said.

For Zuberer, her dog is her life, her independence.

"She's my eyes. More than that, she's my buddy," she said. "There's nothing like the leather in your hand and the freedom of walking -- almost like you're not disabled."

"It's good to see I can make that kind of a difference in someone's life," McPherren said. "We're out here to help people and it's good to see there are people who still appreciate that."

Vida was treated for a kidney infection and is now completely healthy.

End of article.

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