Port Macquarie-Hastings residents are digging deep to help fund surgery of local group home companion dog, Storm after she tore a tendon in her back leg.
The fluffy labrador and border-collie cross is a mainstay resident at the Aruma Port One Group Home housing six people with varied disabilities. Support workers have even dipped into their retirement plans to pay for the operation.
Storm was rescued and brought to the home as a behavioural dog almost seven years ago, said support worker Hayley Smith.
"Storm came by chance and she changed the behaviours in the house exponentially," Ms Smith said.
"She goes where she is needed and will spend time with residents of the home. Everyone loves her to bits.
"Just having her in the room can change our residents' behaviour. Our residents have a really good rapport with animals and to see her brings their anxiety down. She's very calming and does visit other group homes.
"Without an operation she won't get any better than she is now and needs constant medication because of the pain."
Storm is scheduled to undergo surgery for the tendon this week with long term support worker Trevor Hodgert contributing some of his own retirement money towards the operation.
"I think she is a necessary part of the group home and to me she is like having another support worker," Mr Hodgert said.
"It doesn't worry me about not getting the money back because that was money I'd put aside for a mining camp I'm going to build in retirement. It will just delay that.
"It's the right thing to do."
A fundraiser set up to cover the cost of the surgery has raised more than $2130 towards the total $3500. You can donated HERE to help.