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SpokAnimal memorial fund will help sick, injured dogs

Clyde will be the first dog at SpokAnimal to receive treatment benefited by the Koko Lifesaver Fund. (Dan Pelle)
Clyde will be the first dog at SpokAnimal to receive treatment benefited by the Koko Lifesaver Fund. (Dan Pelle)

Hoping his dog’s death will mean new life for other shelter dogs, a Spokane man whose family dog was mortally wounded by two pit bulls last week has established a memorial fund for SpokAnimal.

Spokesman-Review photographer Dan Pelle and his family are working with SpokAnimal to establish the Koko Lifesaver Fund. Money raised through the fund will benefit injured or sick dogs that are brought to the shelter that may otherwise not receive the medical care they need.

Pelle was walking Koko, an 11-year-old Australian Kelpie-spaniel, in a field near their South Hill home Thursday, when she was attacked by two off-leash pit bulls. Koko was injured and had to be euthanized by a veterinarian later that evening.

One of the pit bulls died after the attack, according to the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service. The two young men who were walking the pit bulls surrendered the other dog to SCRAPS. It was declared dangerous and is being held.

“Hopefully, there’s a lesson learned,” Pelle said.

The men can take the dog home, but only if they register it as a dangerous dog by obtaining a homeowner’s security bond for $250,000, providing a kennel with cement floor and top, have the dog spayed or neutered, and agree to keep the dog on a leash and in a muzzle on walks.

The Pelle family adopted Koko from SpokAnimal when she was about 6 months old, and though she’s gone, Pelle said they wanted to find a way for her to keep giving.

“We got her from there, and we were always a supporter” of SpokAnimal, Pelle said. “We want shelter dogs to have a good life.”

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