Funds for Barney add up About $30,000 counted to pay for treatment of firefighters' search dog

March 29, 1996|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF

"Barney, we love you." "Get well soon." "Our prayers are with you."

The sentiments are repeated over and over in the hundreds of letters and cards that have arrived -- and keep on coming -- along with money now totaling more than $30,000 toward cancer treatments for the 6-year-old golden retriever, a Baltimore County Fire Department search dog.

Many were hand-drawn cards from children, with perhaps $1 from a piggy bank, while others came from kennel clubs and other fire departments.

Some people sent cards in memory of dogs and cats that had died of cancer; others came from human cancer survivors.

Barney also received photographs of some very attractive potential mates and offers of "a date" once he completes treatments for the lymphosarcoma that was discovered this month.

At least two donations of $1,000 were received, and many in the $100 to $150 range, said Beth Barshinger, an emergency medical technician helping with the 1,800 envelopes opened by yesterday.

Another 200 or more remain uncounted at bank branches and the Falls Road Animal Hospital, whose veterinarians care for Barney and the other department search dogs, Mattie and Jiggs.

"It's the largest outpouring we've ever seen," said Battalion Chief Mark Hubbard, a department spokesman.

"It's still coming in, even after we've said we have more than enough money now. We had three or four calls today from people who insist on sending money and tell us to keep it for the future care of the dogs."

The department estimated that the treatments would cost $2,000 to $3,000.

Donations came from throughout Maryland and as far away as California, Oregon and Puerto Rico after word of the fire department's appeal for donations reached the Internet.

"I just want to thank everyone. It's been an amazing response," said Barney's handler, Lt. Don Kluge, who reported that the dog continues to respond well to the chemotherapy.

Pub Date: 3/29/96

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