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Therapy Dog Dies From Mysterious Infection, Another Dog Sick

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Image from Justin Kelley/MU Health via Columbia Missourian

The Wags Therapy Dog Program at MU Health Care is mourning the death of their beloved therapy dog, Trooper. Working for the hospital since 2018, the white-and-black border collie mix was loved by the staff and patients.

Trooper was adopted by Kelley and Doug Fessenden after a surgery that required the dog’s broken leg to be amputated. He was rescued in 2017 from the Sedalia Animal Shelter because of the expensive procedure that the shelter could not afford. “(The) Sedalia, Missouri, community got together. They raised more than twice the amount of what they needed to amputate Trooper’s leg,” Kelley Fessenden said. Trooper then became a therapy dog in 2018 and provided comfort to patients.

Image from Eileen Wisniowicz via Columbia Missourian

Trooper died on April 9 from a complication of a mysterious viral infection. While still recovering from the unfortunate fate of Trooper, another dog in the Fessendens’ family suffered the same symptoms that Trooper had. The husky mix, named Keylo, was immediately rushed to MU Veterinary Hospital. The owners suspect that the soil on the house they moved into in Hallsville was the reason. Keylo is currently stable. 

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