After spending months fighting to save her two dogs from the death penalty, Caitlin McAdam’s battle is finally over.
Not only was McAdam ultimately exonerated of charges that could have led to the euthanasia of his dogs, the Colorado Springs resident also received thousands of dollars in donations to help cover the $ 11,000 in bills she has. accumulated.
Over $ 5,500 in donations were made to McAdam’s crowdfunding campaign as a result of CNN’s coverage of his story, with his GiveForward fundraiser now totaling nearly $ 9,000. Another $ 2,000 was donated to a separate campaign specifically to help cover his legal fees, bringing his grand total to around $ 11,000 in donations.
McAdam’s nightmare began four months ago, when his dogs Jake and Lucy were pulled over by Animal Control after being accused of killing a neighbor’s cat.
There was no evidence linking Jake and Lucy to death, several witnesses said they were innocent, and the dogs had never exhibited aggressive behavior before. Yet McAdam was immediately charged with “dangerous dog”.
McAdam was told that Jake and Lucy would be euthanized if found guilty, or even sooner if she couldn’t find the money to pay for their impoundment while they waited for their day in court.
It all added up to thousands of dollars. To pay for Jake and Lucy’s $ 250 a week storage, McAdam and his family collected every penny they could – sell an old car, take out payday loans, borrow money from friends, use a tax refund. and fundraising online.
In addition to the $ 2,500 in boarding fees, McAdam had to face over $ 8,500 in bills for expenses such as legal aid, behavioral assessments, vet visits, training fees ordered by the court – even a cat autopsy.
CNNMoney first wrote about his saga in April. In the weeks that followed, the court let McAdam take his dogs home under house arrest – where they were forced to wear muzzles when they walked outside and were prohibited from walking together.
And last month, after CNN’s Randi Kaye pressed those responsible for the situation, a plea deal was proposed to rid her pets of dangerous dog accusations. This agreement was finalized on Friday.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, a contractor who manages animal control for the region, said the agency was only enforcing the law, and its chairman Jan McHugh-Smith told CNN that “it there are always ways for people to come up with the money to do this. ”
For McAdam, however, finding all that money was no easy task. And even after learning about the probable plea deal, she never thought she would get it back.
But thanks to the flood of donations following CNN’s coverage of her situation, she is on the verge of paying all of her bills and moving on with her life.
“Trying to keep everything afloat to combat this was turning into a nightmare,” McAdam said. “Knowing that we can have pretty [much] it all paid off and putting that behind us lifted a huge burden. ”
CNNMoney (New York) First published on June 5, 2015: 6:03 am ET