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Flood of support saves life of family's dog

10:43 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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Nearly $40,000 has been donated to help Jake the service dog receive life-saving surgery.

Jake's family says they're thankful and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

After nearly 20 years of military service and three deployments to the Middle East, Karl Hofle came back broken.

Related Story: Military family desperate to help their ailing dog

Hofle was diagnosed with severe anxiety, severe depression, and PTSD. His service dog Jake changed everything.

"Has it been easy? No. But having Jake in our family actually helped save our marriage," Karl's wife Sharon Hofle said.

Jake's full name is Sergeant Andy Perkins. He's named for a Northglenn solider who died in Iraq in 2007, one of six killed in a roadside bombing.

When Jake was diagnosed a month ago with severe hip dysplasia, their veterinarian said the only options were to operate or put Jake to sleep.

Paying for the $10,000 hip replacement surgery was impossible for the Hofle family. Within hours of telling Jake's story on 9NEWS, help began coming in from all over the country.

"Today has been a day like I have never experienced in my life," Sharon said. "I've looked at our accounts and saw the money going up in his account."

That account, to pay for Jake's surgery, had nothing in it Monday. But by Tuesday evening, the account contained close to $40,000.

"It's unbelievable," Sharon said. "I think it's still going up."

Donations have come in from at least 15 states plus Canada. There will likely be tens of thousands of dollars left over.

"College fund for [our daughter] and maybe start a veterans fund for other individuals that are in the same situation we are in," Karl said.

Perhaps more meaningful than the money, are the messages from people like the man from New York who wrote to Karl.

"He appreciates what me and other military members do. I've never had that," Karl said.

Just one day can change a family's life. Sharon called her veterinarian Tuesday afternoon.

"I told them I want to schedule his surgery. [To] help him so he can continue to help us," Sharon said. "When he's not suffering, we're not going to suffer."

Jake's surgery is scheduled for next Saturday. His veterinarian will operate on the first hip and then thirty days later the surgery will be performed on the second hip.

His vet says Jake can expect to be more active just two days after his surgery.

There was more good news Tuesday.

Karl has been looking for work to no avail since he was medically discharged in January. Two potential employers contacted him Tuesday.

The family also received word from a landlord that they have been approved to move into a more affordable apartment that allows their daughter, Faith, to stay in the same school.

We learned about the Hofle family's story when they sent us a newstip asking for help.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A NEWSTIP

To make a donation, go to any Wells Fargo branch and mention that it is a Business Account for SGT ANDY PERKINS aka JAKE, and that the last four digits of the account are 6390.

There is also a PayPal account set up so people can donate to the family: http://bit.ly/QXJI6A

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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