An Oklahoma sheriff's deputy has expressed his overwhelming gratitude to Carrie Underwood, who recently made efforts to help cover medical expenses for his K-9 companion.
Kevin Branscum, a K-9 narcotics investigation officer for the McIntosh County Sheriff's Department, was left speechless after learning that the country music star had donated two signed guitars in order to help ease his financial burden.
Branscum's German shepherd, Gino, racked up high medical expenses last year after it was discovered that he had contracted heartworms from a mosquito during the summer. The duo has been paired together since 2012.
"I just want to thank her," Brascum said, according to Muskogee Phoenix. "Everything caught me totally off guard. I'm grateful."
Gino was taken to the vet back in December to undergo simple ear surgery and a teeth cleaning when his bloodwork revealed he had heartworms. Since then, Branscum has spent an estimated $4,000 on medical bills, which has been difficult to cover on his salary.
The cost for the heartworm procedure is almost $2,000. The surgery is currently on hold for the time being.
"We've been going to vets for months, and we'll be done with treatment in May," Branscum said. "Treatment includes pills and injections. We started a pill which he has to take for 30 days, and he has 120 pills to take. March 9 he starts injections. There's three altogether. Once he's done, they will run test."
In addition to the pills, Gino needs to have three medical injections beginning in March. As he's a private Dog, the sheriff's department cannot help with medical costs.
Underwood, who hails from Checotah, heard about Branscum's story and immediately proceeded with her donations.
"I'm grateful," he said. "There's really no words for it. It's awesome. Being that she's from around here makes it even that much more special. I was definitely surprised."
Through her selfless act, Underwood has inspired others to help as Branscum said members of the community have since reached out to him to help pay for Gino's medical expenses.
"Checotah schools is doing a fundraiser," Branscum said. "They got wind of it, and I want to just thank the community for such a big success. This wasn't in my agenda, and it makes all the difference in the world."