It looks like former military dog Kay will be receiving the lifesaving surgery he needs after all.
Brandon Donahue, Kay's handler-turned-owner, and his wife turned to help online at GoFundMe.com to raise the $6,000 needed to remove a tumor from Kay's heart. With the title "Help retired MWD Kay," the Donahues of Brighton, Colorado, had raised nearly $8,000 as of this morning.
Kay, an 8-year-old pit bull-Labrador mix, was rescued from a Texas animal shelter as a puppy. Kay spent years in training and then served in the military, sniffing out IEDs and clearing paths for foot soldiers, most notably during two tours in Iraq and then in Afghanistan.
"It was estimated that he saved a few thousand lives," Donahue told ABC News Denver affiliate KMGH-TV.
The 90-pound dog dedicated his life to saving the lives of others. "He loves kids, he's always had the caring nature about him," Donahue said.
"It means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to him to be able to just live like a normal dog for a little bit."
Without the surgery, Kay would be expected to live for a few more months, with the tumor causing his heart to beat improperly. But now, after Kay undergoes the procedure, he is expected to live for five to six more healthy, happy years.
"He didn't give up on me; I'm not going to give up on him," Donahue said.
Nearly $2,000 over their goal, the Donahues are overjoyed. All the money donated over the goal will go toward post-surgery care, checkups and medication.
"Our faith in humanity was restored in the matter of hours," Donahue posted on the fundraising site. "Your acts of kindness will not go unnoticed."
Donahue's wife, Brandi, posted in the comments, "Thank you for your help in saving my Kay Kay Monster. I am in total awe of the generosity of perfect strangers to help such a wonderful dog named Kay."