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Unfortunately, we received word from Vinnie’s owner on October 10, 2014, that Vinnie passed away. We are extremely sad, and our hearts go out to Vinnie’s mom Amy and the rest of her family who loved Vinnie.

According to Amy, Vinnie had stopped eating, could not get comfortable in any resting position, and was having difficulty breathing. Thus, she had to make the difficult decision to let him go and end his obvious suffering. As is the case with many dogs with Congestive Heart Failure, his time had simply come. We hope that by reading Vinnie’s story below, his legacy will live on to help other owners cope with their losses, and help spread the word about the reality of heart disease in pets.

Rest in Peace, Vinnie! We heart you.


Amy first came upon Vinnie by “complete chance.” After her first English Bulldog puppy Axle was stolen from her home, a neighbor had found Vinnie thinking he was Amy’s lost dog. Unfortunately he wasn’t, but that didn’t stop her from deciding to give him a good home anyway.

“Shortly after [Vinnie] came into our home, it became clear that he had been abused,” Amy said. “He doesn’t like feet; especially men’s feet. We assumed he had been kicked. It took a while to gain his trust and he still has his moments… When I have had a bad day he is there for me no matter what. I can’t express enough how much he means to me.”

Vinnie spends his days following his mom around the house, snoring while asleep, or whining at her feet when he wants to be petted.

Things were going well at home and Vinnie was seemingly healthy until mid-January, 2014. “I noticed there was some swelling in his abdomen,” Amy said. “Never for a moment did I think it would be life-threatening.”

When she took him to the vet, x-rays revealed that Vinnie was in a state of Congestive Heart Failure. He was given months to a year to live.

Vinnie’s heart cannot meet the demands of his body, and therefore fluid backs up into his abdomen and lungs. Medication is currently keeping him comfortable. Unfortunately, these medications are expensive – the most expensive of these is Vetmedin (Pimobendan) which costs Amy about $95/month. As a separated mother of four human children and on disability, this puts an unrealistic strain on her budget.

“I am not ready to give up on him,” Amy said. While Vinnie’s prognosis for the long run isn’t so great, medication is the only thing keeping him comfortable and at peace in the time he has left to be with his family who loves him.

We are searching for Angel Sponsors to help support Vinnie in the months to come. Any small monthly recurring donation will help substantially. Can you find it in your Big Heart to help Vinnie and his family? They would be forever grateful.

Click here to help Vinnie by making a tax-deductible donation to The Big Hearts Fund!