Panda the miniature guide pony and her blind owner Ann Edie have been together for 14 years – so when Panda fell sick one year ago, her adoring companion spent thousands of dollars in order to save her.

For the last 12 months, Panda has suffered from intestinal blockage, pneumonia, and severe diarrhea. In order to survive the strenuous road to recovery, the pony has been in and out of the hospital for weeks at a time, wracking up over $30,000 in veterinary bills.

Ann wasn’t about to give up her beloved guide horse, so she and her retired husband tapped into their life savings in order to pay for the procedures.

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In a bid to help her desperate friends, Alexandra Kurland, the trainer who first paired Panda with Ann, started a YouCaring crowdfunding page with a goal of $10,000 to help pay for the medical bills.

Without hesitation, the community stepped up, donating thousands.

“Panda has been the best guide imaginable for me for the past 13 years. But she has been so much more than just a service animal,” says Ann. “She is so much more than just a means for letting me, as a blind person, travel smoothly and efficiently around my community. Her joy in her work and in her life always puts a smile on my face.”

“Thanks to our wonderful community of family and friends, we have been able to make a considerable dent in Panda’s vet bills, and we are feeling very optimistic about her prospects for health and happiness in the new year.”

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