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Effort launched to help dogs affected by fatal crash

May 22, 2019

Warren — Two local residents are helping raise money online to help pay vet bills for a dog that nursed the puppies of another dog that died following a fatal car crash April 26.

The effort was launched on Facebook for Maine Coast Animal Rescue by Jenna Lookner and Danielle Mills Blake.

"When Sydni Barham of Rockport lost her life in a tragic single-vehicle crash on April 26, her large community of friends and family -- as well as the greater Midcoast community -- mourned the untimely loss of a beautiful young woman," the posting states. "Also in the car was her beloved dog, a great dane/mastiff mix named Merkury."

"At almost full-term, a pregnant and terrified Merkury fled the crash site and was later found by close friends. Her prognosis was grim, as her spine had suffered significant damage and the prognosis for her unborn puppies was not known."

Maine Coast Animal Rescue in Lincolnville performed surgery, delivering six healthy puppies, but Merkury ultimately had to be put to sleep.

Terrie Kelly of Tucker Brook Labs stepped in to help the puppies. "Raisin, a chocolate lab who had birthed just a single pup in her litter, accepted the six orphans and nursed them as her own for almost two weeks," the posting states.

"On Friday, May 18, Raisin was happily playing and eating. Terrie reported that just hours later Raisin had spiked a fever and could no longer walk. She was rushed to Mid-Coast Animal Emergency Clinic in Warren as she declined before the eyes of her family. Once at the vet, it was determined that she has gangrenous mastitis. Additional symptoms prompted blood work, and it was determined that Raisin also suffers from the tick-borne illness anaplasmosis.

"Aggressive treatment began, including three rounds of antibiotics, but Raisin continued to decline during her weekend at the emergency vet. On Saturday, the clinic noticed bruising around her mammary glands and on Sunday they called Terrie to report that Raisin had taken a turn for the worse. It was determined that the tissue around her mammary glands was necrotic and she had developed life-threatening sepsis. It was determined that a mastectomy was the only way to save her life. A trip to Portland to visit a specialist was deemed to risky in Raisin's unstable condition, so the procedure was performed in Warren.

"The procedure was a risky last resort, and the option of euthanasia was even discussed. Terrie, a dog lover, knew that she had to try everything. With the help of many kind thoughts, prayers and well-wishes, Raisin survived."

However, the vet bills have added up to nearly $7,000, and may continue to climb. The goal is to raise $10,000 to help MCAR help Raisin."

Sydni Barham, 31, of Rockport, died April 26 after her car crashed on Limerock Street in Rockland and struck two large trees. She had been driving west and swerved to avoid a coyote in the road.

For more information, or to donate,

Sydni Barham
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