A pacemaker for a dog can cost upwards of $3000, and that means that not every guardian can afford to provide one no matter how desperately the dog needs one to survive. Nurse Terri Mattula and her husband once had a dog named Gator who passed out during a walk because of issues with his heart. When they took him to the vet, they learned that he needed a pacemaker, but as two broke students, they couldn’t afford one.
Fast forward 20 years and Mattula’s husband needed a new pacemaker because of a change in his condition. With Gator in mind, Mattula saved her husband’s old pacemaker and offered to donate it the local veterinary school at the University of Georgia. She told them over the phone that she had a relatively new device and wanted to know if they could use it. That phone call led to a collaboration between the university vet school and the local hospital.