Olentangy Valley News

Fundraising website gets ailing pets back on their feet

Olentangy High School graduate's pet project lets visitors donate to cash-strapped owners of sick animals

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Need a life-saving surgery for a beloved pet, but can't afford the cost?

A crowd-sourced fundraising website called Fund A Pet Miracle can help.

Website co-founder and owner Stacey Nutini, a 1997 Olentangy High School graduate, said she and her boyfriend launched the site in October 2012 following the death of their dog, Sassy, two months earlier.

Nutini adopted Sassy from Hilliard's Capital Area Humane Society in 2002.

She was 15 years old when she died, following a year-long battle with kidney disease and diabetes.

Her care cost the couple $7,000.

"We practically spent everything we had on her care over that year and we were lucky to be able to afford to do so, because we had her back in pretty great health most of that year," Nutini said. "But what if we had not been able to spare that $7,000?

"We cut it very, very close, because we would do anything for our pets, but the reality is most people can't afford huge costs for their animal's health, nor do they have pet insurance."

Fund A Pet Miracle was born out of Nutini's desire to help other people in similar situations.

Pet owners, rescuers or veterinarians can post projects for animals that need surgeries or treatments and people can donate to those specific animals at the website.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the site Oct. 20, Fund A Pet Miracle had raised $126,820 to help pets in need.

The first recipient to receive assistance from Fund A Pet was a sheltie named Gus Gus who needed double knee surgery. Donors to the site contributed more than $4,000 to his cause.

Nutini said she plans to apply for nonprofit status next year.

"We are a crowd-funding website, which is considered a business, and we have a 3 percent administrative fee, which gets put pretty much entirely back into our site costs anyway," she said.

"It covers web hosting, promotional materials, booths at pet expos, business cards, etc."

For more about Fund A Pet Miracle, visit fundapet miracle.com, search "Fund a Pet Miracle on Facebook, or follow @fundapetmiracle on Twitter.

In addition to her work with Fund A Pet, Nutini teaches elementary music at a charter school in Las Vegas.

Before focusing all her time and energy on her pet project, she was a full-time professional poker player from 2010 until spring 2013. She currently plays poker part time.

She previously taught music in the Dublin City Schools for seven years.

Nutini is the daughter of Don and Pat Gindlesperger of Powell.

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