Pet's diagnosis puts friendship at risk

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

DORSEY – A special-needs teen could lose his best friend unless his family raises several hundred dollars to save him.
Billy Wright was diagnosed with mild mental retardation as a child. A tall but shy boy, Wright doesn’t attend school and has no friends except for a little Chihuahua named Bad Boy.
Bad Boy was born three years ago to the family’s older dog and immediately adopted Billy as his master. He hasn’t left the teen’s side since.
“The dog stays with him constantly,” said Billy’s mother, Raygenna Wright. “That dog will sit there and watch TV with him, he goes outside and Bad Boy is right there beside him. Billy can go to the bathroom, and he’ll lay right there in front of that door until he gets out.”
But now, Billy is in danger of losing his friend forever.
Bad Boy has a severe heart murmur, a condition the family discovered several weeks ago at the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society’s Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic. The Wrights had taken Bad Boy there to get neutered when the staff veterinarian found the murmur and recommended further tests.
“We can’t diagnose” at the spay-neuter clinic, said Kimberly Kelly, the vet who saw Bad Boy. “That’s why we tell them to take the animals to their regular vet to get examined.”
But the family can’t afford a regular vet visit, much less expensive tests or treatments.
“We live month to month,” Raygenna Wright said. “My husband is retired, and I’m on disability.”
Without treatment, Wright said she was told Bad Boy would die within one year – taking his friendship with him. It’s a fate she can’t bear to ponder.
“I could kind of live with it, but when it’s your kid it’s a different story,” she said. “He thinks the world of that dog.”
The Tupelo-Lee Humane Society has established a fund for Bad Boy and can accept tax-deductible donations to help the family pay for his medical care. Although total costs aren’t yet known, the Wrights likely will need at least $500 to $600 for initial tests.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Bad Boy’s fund
Send your tax-deductible donations to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society’s Bad Boy Fund to help the Wright family save their special-needs son’s best friend.