NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The community came together on Sunday in a tremendous show of support for a dog known as “Hope.” The lab mix was found emaciated and just hours from death in Branford earlier this month. The cost of her treatment is adding up quickly, but customers at Frisco’s Pizza in New Haven are helping out in a big way.
Owner John Frisco’s fundraiser was so successful the restaurant ran out of dough. The community raised thousands of dollars. A Frisco’s customer will be matching every dollar raised.
“Hope is everybody’s dog now,” said Frisco.
When Frisco heard about Hope he knew he had to do something to help. He and his staff served up pizzas with a purpose on Sunday. All of the money raised will go towards Hope’s medical expenses.
“I got four rescues. That could’ve been my dog,” said Frisco. “It could’ve been your dog. It could’ve been his dog.”
Orders for pies came in faster than staff could make them. They were so busy that employees had to take the phone off the hook to keep up. They made about 300 pizzas. After the dough ran out and they could make no more, the restaurant had to close several hours early.
“I felt I wanted to donate more than eat the pizza, but no problem at all,” said Laura Vlanis, who arrived after the restaurant had closed. “I’m just happy that he had such a following and a turnout,”
Even though Frisco’s Pizza was closed, that didn’t stop customers like Vlanis from supporting Hope. People lined up to donate. Shelter staff are grateful.
“I don’t know that I expected this much,” said Pamela Medlyn, Animal Control Officer at Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford, where Hope is staying. “This is definitely overwhelming. It’s all been overwhelming.”
Staff say Hope is doing better – she is eating, drinking and moving around. Frisco holds fundraisers for animals every few months or so.
“This is the craziest one ever by far, by far,” Frisco said.
He says Hope has touched the community and, like her name, has given people Hope.
“Animal people come and help animal people,” said Frisco. “The animal people come together and they help each other out. ”
The shelter has already gotten a lot of applications from people wanting to adopt Hope.
A $9,000 reward is offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for Hope’s condition.