GoFundMe page for Stella from Dog & Drone Search Pet Rescue, to help you with medical bills

GUILFORD – Tears flow freely as Dan and Ann Montuori discuss their beloved 7-year-old goldendoodle, Stella, a cancer-fighting pet research dog.

“Things are going like a roller coaster, as you might expect,” said Dan Montuori.

It was on July 31, the day after Stella’s birthday, that the Montuori discovered a bump on her right front paw. With the exception of a limp, “she was not sick,” said Dan Montuori.

The diagnosis, osteosarcoma, was devastating.

Stella and Dan have star status along the coastline. Together they form Dog & Drone Search Pet Rescue, finding missing animals.

Now the tables have turned. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Stella’s medical bills. To date, some $ 6,000 has been raised towards a goal of $ 10,000. To contribute visit “Help Stella with her medical bills” on GoFundMe.com.

“I was just like, ‘He’s an amazing person and he could use a helping hand,” said Susan Brinigar, creator of the page. “It was kind of a no-brainer to set up this GoFundMe and see if we could raise some money to help pay Stella’s bills.”

The Montuori do everything to make Stella comfortable. Her leg was amputated on August 4 and she is undergoing chemotherapy. She has to undergo five treatments, one every three weeks, until November 17.

“She’s not in pain and she’s doing well with chemo,” said Dan Montuori. “She was sick for a day yesterday, but today she is pretty much herself again.”

The day after her first chemotherapy, she was running over Madison Green, her tail wagging and a smile on her face.

“They’re superheroes,” said Debbie Longyear, walking her Shih Tzu, Acacia, on the Madison green. “I read all the stories on Facebook and they are so touching, especially when it’s a little kid picking up his pet. It really touches your heart.

“Look at that smile,” Dan Montouri said.

Stella arrived at the Montuori at the age of 10 weeks, via their son who could no longer take care of the animal. It wasn’t something this Guilford couple expected.

Dan Montuori shows a scar on his nose, the result of a dog bite when he was 7 years old.

“He didn’t like dogs at all,” said his wife, Ann Montuori. “Now they’re best friends. “

“I took her back when she was 3 months old,” said Dan Montuori, suffocated.

Immediately after joining the Montuori family, Stella became a therapy dog ​​for Dan Montuori who was suffering from seizures associated with Lyme disease.

“She started to put her head in me so we thought there was something wrong with her,” said Dan Montuori. “Then I had seizures and it turned out that she was warning me that I was having seizures. So, she’s officially my service dog.

“I was depressed at home in bed and she was the one who brought me out,” he said, wiping away tears. “I didn’t have a seizure because she warned me in advance.”

He remembers being in the hospital to recover from a heart attack when Stella was allowed to visit him.

“We saved her and then in turn she saved me and now we are saving other people’s pets,” he said.

Over time, Dan Montouri and Stella’s love for stalking animals in the woods made them the perfect pair.

“I took her with me stalking the animals in the woods and it turned out that when I lost the visual scent, she picked it up,” said Dan Montouri. “We were following coyotes, bobcats and deer, just for fun. “

Then it was about finding lost animals. Dog & Drone Pet Rescues has helped locate over 100 cats and dogs and all of their work is free, he said.

It’s “a hobby,” said Dan Montouri, who works as an insurance inspector. Stella is his constant companion.

He described how he and Stella work together as pet searchers – he uses his tracking skills and Stella uses her nose. For animals they can’t locate, he tries to help them get home.

“I’m looking for what wild animals are doing, their game tracks to the water and back, and generally domestic dogs and cats do the same,” he explained. “So I’m going to put the scent markers over there and show them a way home. “

From taking a walk in the woods to giving advice over the phone, the duo have reunited around 100 pets with their owners over the past seven years.

Sam Kramer remembers finding a neighbor’s dog and helping Dog & Drone.

“Within a minute Dan and Stella were there and had spent countless days,” Kramer recalls. “Ruby was gone for a while and they kept coming back and trudging through the woods in the middle of winter, trying to find this dog, who was incredibly kind of them.”

“They really helped us – ultimately helped us – find Ruby a few days later,” added Kramer, a Madison native who recently moved to Chicago.

Dan Montuori gives advice over the phone to people who have lost their pets. He often tells them how to define “scent markers”.

“You cut your blanket, which smells like your dog, and you go out into the woods and leave a trail for him to come back,” he said.

Dog & Drone has helped people as far away as Australia, New Zealand, England, Greenland and Finland, he noted.

Dan Montuori is confident that Stella will be back on the trails soon.

“She was just entering her prime as a research dog,” he said.

“It’s a game we’ve always played,” he adds. “It’s not work for her, it’s something that she loves to do and that we love to do together.”

Search for Pets for Dogs and Drones, 203-824-1042; Search for dogs and drones on Facebook D&D; “Help Stella with her medical bills” on GoFundMe.com.

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