The above photo of John Unger and his dog, Schoep, touched hearts around the world when it was first published last summer. (We posted about it here, here, here, and here.) Although Schoep seemed to be slowly slipping away at the time that the photo was taken, he has made a remarkable recovery, thanks to donations made by people from around the world to help with medical treatments.
The money left over has been used to launch Schoep’s Legacy Foundation, whose mission is to support efforts to improve animal welfare:
While the foundation is still awaiting certification from the IRS, it has already donated money to a number of Bay Area spay and neuter programs which serve low income people of Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It also helped the Chequamegon Humane Association to buy a new van.
But perhaps most interesting of all is “The Cider Project.” Based in Northern Wisconsin, it helps local shelters by providing medical and surgical care to pets that need extra help to make them more “adoptable.” The program is the brainchild of Dr. Erik Haukaas, Schoep’s veterinarian.
It’s an extraordinary story of how the kindness of strangers has allowed Schoep and his owner, John Unger, pay it forward to help many others. Schoep has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame.