Edmond Vet Saving Animals' Lives With Help From Memorial Fund Honoring His Late Dog

Wednesday, January 27th 2021, 6:16 pm
By: Brian Mueller

EDMOND, Okla. -

“Betty was my soul dog. You can have soul mates. She was my soul dog.” 

Gentle Care Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Christopher Rispoli said as he described his favorite dog.

A 288-pound Mastiff, Betty was a therapy dog that comforted children in the hospital and victims of the Moore and El Reno tornadoes. 

“Everybody around this area at that time knew Betty. We had people who didn’t even have animals that would come in to see the big dog that was so sweet," Rispoli said. 

Betty passed away in 2015, but her gentle spirit lives on in the Betty Fund, which provides no cost vet services for people who can’t afford it at the Edmond animal hospital.

The fund has helped five animals since it started.  

One of those is Bootsy, a Tabby cat on the mend after a health scare last week. 

“He was cold to the touch, he wouldn’t move, there was no purring, no meowing, nothing. Basically, my cat is laying there dying," said Tina Renfroe-Weng, an Edmond resident and Bootsy's owner.

Katie Sanford, who is dating Tina’s son, sprang into action and called 25 different clinics, but the costs were too high. 

That’s when she remembered Dr. Chris, who she knew from her work fostering dogs. 

He told them to get their as quickly as they could. 

“We did 90 all the way here. I thought she was going to kill us trying to get my cat here," said Tina .

It wasn’t a moment too soon. 

Bootsy had a urinary blockage that was causing kidney failure. He had maybe an hour to live. 

Dr. Chris and his staff were able to save Bootsy’s life. 

He emptied the Betty Fund to perform the $800 procedure. 

Now with a healthy Bootsy, a grateful Katie and Tina are trying to provide a boost to the Betty Fund, with a GoFundMe. 

If you'd like to donate, you can find a link here.