Gift helps ensure K-9 Sophie
will continue to help others
When his beloved K-9, Sophie, lost her life last November, Troy Fergueson, the dog’s longtime owner and handler, vowed to keep her memory alive by doing whatever he could to help other dogs afflicted with cancer. To that end, Fergueson has donated $5,000 to help create the K-9 Sophie Memorial Fund at UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
The funds were left over from donations raised by members of the K-9 Forensics Recovery Team to help Sophie obtain needed medical treatment at the UF Small Animal Hospital during her illness. The non-profit group, in which Fergueson and Sophie were founding members, worked on many high-profile search and rescue cases throughout the state for several years but was closed after participating dogs grew older and their health declined.
“We want the money to help others fight this dreaded disease,” Fergueson said. “We were so thrilled that Sophie’s case has helped blaze new trails and established medical case precedence in the advancement of treating and perhaps beating some forms of canine cancer.”
He added, “UF extended K-9 Sophie’s life for almost two years.”
“We had cancer on the ropes, but it was the onset of renal failure that claimed her life,” Fergueson said. “I would like to replenish and build the K-9 Sophie Memorial Fund in the future, so this $5,000 is a starting point I would like to see grow.”
Fergueson said that when he was presented with his options after Sophie’s initial diagnosis, he “stepped out on faith and placed the surgery on a credit card with no money to cover the bills.”
“I never could have managed such a costly procedure were it not for the generosity of our community members,” Fergueson said. “We raised more than $30,000 over the course of a few months, covering all of Sophie’s expenses and follow-up treatments, including chemotherapy.”