German shepherd helping Knoxville rehab patients now needs help

German shepherd helping Knoxville rehab patients now needs help

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The gentle German shepherd called "Ransom" is thinner and not as energetic these days compared to our first meeting. The gentle German shepherd called "Ransom" is thinner and not as energetic these days compared to our first meeting.
Ransom has been a regular and welcome visitor at Patricia Neal Rehab Center for the past year and a half, but his owner, Knoxville police officer Jason Artymovich, had to cut back those visits when he recently noticed something wasn't quite right. Ransom has been a regular and welcome visitor at Patricia Neal Rehab Center for the past year and a half, but his owner, Knoxville police officer Jason Artymovich, had to cut back those visits when he recently noticed something wasn't quite right.
"His white blood count was extremely high, high platelet level was really low. They did X-rays on his spine. It showed three spots on his spine," Jason Artymovich said. "His white blood count was extremely high, high platelet level was really low. They did X-rays on his spine. It showed three spots on his spine," Jason Artymovich said.
By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A special service dog we introduced you to late last year is now in need of some help. He's battling a mysterious illness that is making him too tired to do what he does best: make people in the hospital smile.

The gentle German shepherd called "Ransom" is thinner and not as energetic these days compared to our first meeting.

Previous story: German Shepherd helps Knoxville rehab patients


Ransom was part of a small miracle then, credited for getting stroke patient Anna to speak in complete sentences for the first time in a long time.

"It's incredible. It means healing. He means smiling when they haven't smiled in weeks, sometimes months," said Ashley Hamilton, a recreational therapist with Patricia Neal.

Ransom has been a regular and welcome visitor at Patricia Neal Rehab Center for the past year and a half, but his owner, Knoxville police officer Jason Artymovich, had to cut back those visits when he recently noticed something wasn't quite right. Ransom starting whining when anyone touched him.

Artymovich took Ransom for tests, with troubling results.

"His white blood count was extremely high, high platelet level was really low. They did X-rays on his spine. It showed three spots on his spine," he said.

Now Artymovich is getting ready to have more extensive testing done on his pet.

It's not only the patients, but staff at the rehab center who have grown so fond of Ransom, but no one is as worried about Ransom as his owner, the young officer who shares his pet with others on his own time, expecting nothing in return.

"He's everything," said Officer Artymovich. "I don't have family down here, so he's everything."

Therapists have collected donations for Ransom's medical tests.

If you'd like to help, you can donate directly by getting in touch with:

Central Veterinary Hospital
1212 W. Clinch Avenue
Knoxville, TN  37916
(865) 525-1167

Be sure to tell them you're donating for Ransom's medical care.

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