No pet owner would want to see their furry friends in pain, which is why a local veterinarian is making great strides to help war heroes and their four-legged combat friends.
“There's something special about a bond, that bond that you can put it in words,” says local veternarian Dr. Mike Moore of Southside Animal Hospital.
Niroby Wilson takes great pride in protecting and serving the United States of America. He's done tours in Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia but says at times returning home can be tough.
His dog Kimbo Slice keeps him strong.
“Kimbo has pretty much saved my life, on different levels,” said Wilson.
In 2004, Wilson suffered from a major injury that almost left him paralyzed. However, the medically retired veteran needed additional assistance because his 12-year-old companion fell and needed a life-saving surgery.
“As time has went on, I’ve noticed a decline in Kimbo to the point that it became I felt like I was getting ready to lose him," Wilson said.
Moore met Wilson and introduced the him to Hank's & Eli's Fund., which is designed to help service animals like Kimbo who needed surgery that cost more than $10,000.
“We help them, because those kids don’t make a lot of money, they can’t afford large veterinary bills and they end up putting them to sleep or not getting the services done that their pets require," Moore said .
The fund was created back in 2012 and Dr. Moore has helped hundreds of military families across the nation. It took care of Kimbo and Wilson owed nothing for the treatment.
“It’s kinda hard to put into words," Moore said. "I never expected when I got started with this to have the feeling that I have."
Wilson said he was truly grateful for the care that Kimbo received when he needed it.
"If anything, I would tell Doc and them that I love him, because they saved my baby," Wilson said. "They extended him and that’s what I needed ... his life extended.”
For more information about the Hank's and Eli's fund click here.