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How Harper is doing 24 hours after being rescued from muddy ravine
Injured dog's recovery thanks to community support
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Harper, the Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix found entrenched in a muddy ravine in north Forsyth Jan. 3 was shaved and cleaned up at Whitmire Animal Hospital in Dawsonville Jan. 4. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Injured dog recovering at Whitmire Animal Hospital

An injured dog found in a muddy ravine in north Forsyth Jan. 3 is being treated and cared for by Whitmire Animal Hospital in Dawsonville.

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In a little over 24 hours, Harper’s life has changed forever.

After being found trapped in heavy, thick mud unable to move by three land surveyors in north Forsyth, the dog affectionately named Harper by the Whitmire Animal Hospital staff is receiving the best medical care and treatment by Dr. Will Gholston and his team.

When she arrived at Whitmire Animal Hospital in Dawsonville yesterday morning, Harper was so entrenched in mud and matted fur she was unable to move.

Shivering from the cold and shock of being trapped in a deep ravine for what Will Gholston estimated to be more than 24 hours, Harper was in rough shape Jan. 3.

With plenty of water and food and a warm place to sleep, Harper’s spirits improved overnight – regaining enough energy and strength to get her matted fur shaved, her nails clipped and a warm bath to soothe her skin.

After a round of x-rays and bloodwork on Jan. 3, Gholston discovered Harper appears to be between 8-10 years old, slightly anemic, and riddled with heartworms and arthritis.

Harper was put on anti-inflammatory medication to help soothe her arthritic joints. By the morning, the senior Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix was able to muster enough strength to walk around the vet’s office.

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Harper, the stray dog found in a muddy ravine, gets her muddy and matted fur shaved off at Whitmire Animal Hospital Jan. 4. - photo by Jessica Taylor

When the doors of the animal hospital at 7:30 a.m. Jan.4, Gholston and his wife Kristina, Practice Manager, were bombarded with phone calls from the community asking about Harper’s recovery and offering donations to help pay for her medical treatment.

“We’ve received so many calls and donations since yesterday,” said Kristina Gholston. “We’re shocked by the outpouring of support from the community. This dog is so loved by so many.”

Whitmire Animal Hospital’s angel fund that was set up on GoFundMe has amassed more than $700 since news of Harper’s rescue hit the public and the hospital received more than $500 in donations before they closed for the evening.

In the first three hours on Whitmire Animal Hospital’s business hours, $360 has been raised by donations made over the phone or by people stopping by in person to help the inured dog.

One couple, Dana and Jill Gordy, stopped by the animal hospital after an article and photos of Harper on the Dawson County News website touched their hearts. She reminded them of a dog they had lost last year, and they plan to return to see Harper in the afternoon after she recovers from her early morning cleaning.

As the donations and support for Harper continues to pour in, the Gholstons were overwhelmed by the community’s willingness to help the homeless pup.

“With all of the donations, she will have treatment for the rest of her life,” Kristina Gholston said. “Whoever adopts her will never have to worry about her medical care.”

An owner has still not come forward to claim Harper. She will remain at Whitmire Animal Hospital during her recovery and heartworm treatment.

Donations can be made to the angel fund for Harper’s medical care by donating through the Drew Crouch Angel Fund on GoFundMe or credit card payment can be made over the phone by calling the animal hospital at (706) 265-1088 or by coming in to pay in person at 149 Whitmire Drive in Dawsonville.

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The stray dog, affectionately named Harper by the Whitmire Animal Hospital staff, regained enough strength to stand on her own as she was groomed and cleaned up Jan. 4. - photo by Jessica Taylor