Dough for his dog: Veteran seeks help for canine’s medical care

Published 9:58 am Friday, March 18, 2022

While U.S. military veteran and Bogalusa resident Mike Jackson was in the hospital last year being treated for colon cancer, his beloved beagle, Diva, a registered Emotional Support Animal (ESA), tried to jump a fence and broke her hip.

Diva’s surgery cost $2,000. To pay the cost of the surgery, Jackson set up a payment system with a credit company, but the interest is so high, Jackson feels like he’ll never be able to pay off the balance. His only income is his modest disability allowance of less than $1,000 a month, and after paying $50 to $60 a month for a year, the balance is still $1,750. At this rate, Jackson estimates that it will take several years to pay off the balance.

To help pay off all or some of the balance, Jackson created a GoFundMe page that tells the story of Diva, her injury, and how people can help. People may donate by clicking through Jackson’s PayPal account at abitasprings@hotmail.com, or by visiting the following URL:

www.gofundme.com/f/help-me-pay-my-vet-bill-for-my-esa-dog?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet.

Jackson is hoping that fellow animal lovers, veterans, or other Washington and St. Tammany Parish residents might donate a modest amount to help him pay down this debt.

Jackson helped his local humane society in the past when he owned a vending company in Abita Springs, where he would empty his machines and drop off a mountain of quarters on the counter of the local humane society. Mike also adopted his last two dogs from humane groups, and he has always loved and cherished animals.

“We hope that people see the need to help Mike and Diva,” HSLA Director Jeff Dorson said. “We know what it is like to have large veterinary bills and the anxiety it creates when the balance never seems to go down. We think it would be a lovely gesture if we can all chip in a little to help Mike and Diva.”

“Diva has always been there for me, and I for her,” Jackson said. “Yes, she’s spoiled. She has her own small fenced-in yard, doggie door, a new set of special stairs to go in and out. She even has her own bedroom with a window and night light inside the house. I could not ask for a better companion.”

Jackson’s fundraiser goal is $1,800.