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Compassionate Care Prompts Vet Visit

When their beloved dog Izzie fell deathly ill, Jim and Deborah Peters found Izzie lifesaving care at the David and Bonnie Brunner Purdue Veterinary Medical Hospital Complex. The couple resides in East Jordan, Michigan, and recently pledged $25,000 to benefit the hospital and its equipment support fund, naming the dialysis room in Izzie’s honor.

“At Purdue, Izzie was treated as a member of the family,” Deborah says.

“We were given the sense she was very well taken care of at Purdue,” Jim adds. 

When the young French Brittany dog became sick last spring, a blood analysis indicated acute kidney failure of unknown origin. The couple’s veterinarian referred Izzie to an emergency hospital in Michigan. However, the staff there believed Izzie’s prognosis was bleak—even if she were to undergo dialysis—and recommended putting her down, something Jim and Deborah refused to do.

The couple soon learned Purdue performs dialysis and that Izzie was a strong candidate. “They were waiting for us,” Jim says. “We pulled up to the front door, and they took Izzie from us and put her on a blanketed table and rolled her inside the hospital. There wasn’t much life left in her.”

After her third dialysis, Izzie started showing initial signs of improvement; by the fourth procedure, her characteristic sassiness had started to return. “We got to visit with Izzie that day. We were so happy and relieved to see her,” Jim says.

After nearly two weeks at Purdue, Izzie finally headed home. Yet questions remain regarding the cause of her illness. While two analyses ruled out leptospirosis, a bacterial disease, Jim and Deborah have since learned grapes can be toxic to pets. The couple grows several acres of wine grapes, and they wonder if Izzie consumed grape mummy berries that fell to the ground during or after the harvest—or if she ate leftover grape residue from the winemaking process.

This concerns them due to the large number of dog-friendly wineries, so they plan to share their story with other dog owners. They also will continue to relate their appreciation for Purdue’s veterinary team.

“We can’t thank the staff enough for saving Izzie’s life,” Jim says. “When we run across people with dogs, we are quick to inform them about Purdue.” //

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Purdue for Life Foundation

Patsy J. Mellott

BS College of Health and Human Sciences, 1969
Fishers, IN

Patsy earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition in business from Purdue in 1969, in addition to an MBA in food marketing from Michigan State University in 1970. She retired from Kraft Foods in 2006 after 36 years in corporate food marketing and marketing communications management.

A community volunteer, Patsy serves on the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board and the Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, in addition to the President’s Council Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Health and Human Sciences Alumni Board. Patsy held several offices from 2006 through 2013, including president and treasurer. She serves her community’s Discover Indianapolis Club in Fishers, holding several leadership roles for over 10 years.

Patsy has received several honors, including the Purdue University Nutrition Science Department Hall of Fame recipient in 2009 and the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. She also received the college’s Gold and Black Award in 2016, an honor reserved for donors who have moved the college forward by committing exceptional financial resources.

In addition to endowing two scholarships, the Patsy J. Mellott Scholarship and Patsy J. Mellott HHS Scholarship, she established the Patsy J. Mellott Teaching Innovation Award in the College of Health and Human Sciences in 2013. In 2015, she endowed the Patsy J. Mellott Women’s Tennis Coach Performance Award. She is a lead donor in the Christine M. Ladisch Faculty Leadership Award and the Purdue Women’s Network Virginia C. Meredith Scholarship for the College of Health and Human Sciences.