The Langhoff family of Menomonee Falls thought the hardest part about reuniting with their lost German shorthair, Roscoe, would simply be finding him. However, after finding Roscoe severely injured Sunday the family had a different kind of challenge — a $5,000 challenge.
Fortunately, the Langhoffs aren't facing this challenge alone. In Menomonee Falls, community isn’t just a word. It’s a verb. It’s something people do.
A benefit is planned to help the Langhoffs pay the extensive veterinarian bills that will result from Roscoe’ treatment. From 6 to 8 p.m. Friday outside of , Accompany of Kids will perform, items will be raffled, and donations will be accepted for Roscoe's care. Donations can also be made online. If donations exceed the $5,000 mark, Langhoff said they will donate funds to Lost Dogs of Wisconsin.
Roscoe after two weeks on the prowl, but he was severely dehydrated and malnourished. A vehicle also struck Roscoe and he suffered two severed tendons and deep leg wounds. He has been in the intensive-care unit at Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists and the family was given an option to euthanize the pup, or spend $5,000 in operations to save his leg and his life.
The Langhoffs, who already suffered a tragedy when they lost their daughter two years ago to a brain injury, weren’t going to give up on Roscoe. for a family that has been through a lot. He's set to have surgery Wednesday.
“It’s a miracle we found him alive, and we are hoping for another one to be able to pay for all the care,” Tammy Langhoff said. “We have those large bills and now we need to figure out how to pay on a single income.”
Langhoff is a nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital in Menomonee Falls, and her husband Kirk is the former owner of Northwoods Gunsmithing in Hartford. The small gun store couldn’t compete with larger big box stories and Langoff, who is now unemployed, was going to use Roscoe for guided hunts.
“He’s not going to be ready to hunt by this fall. He will need intensive physical therapy and encourage him to bear weight on his leg,” Tammy Langhoff said.
A Community Steps Up
Throughout the two weeks that Roscoe was missing, dozens of residents pitched in and kept an eye out for the dog. For many, the effort to help the family will continue throughout the week. Each person who gets involved seems to set off a ripple effect to others who in turn contribute as well.
Patti Ochs-Housum has been hitting the pavement this week posting fliers for the event and gathering donations from various local businesses. She heard about the Langhoffs story after seeing the Patch article on Alberta Darling’s Facebook page.
“Because of my love of dogs and hearing their story I had to get involved,” Ochs-Housum said. “How much tragedy can one family have. They have to have hope. They needed to know that people care. No one wants to see someone suffer like that.”
Soon, Accompany of Kids was on board and they will perform at the benefit Friday.
Word also spread to D.J. Rodrian, who organizes the Titus Trail Relay for Charity every summer. Rodrian’s dog, Titus, ran off the leash and was loose in Milwaukee from April 1 to April 26, 2011. Unfortunately, Titus died as a result, but each year 10 dog owners participate in the relay with their canine friends to benefit 10 charities.
Seeing the similarities between the Langhoffs' story and his own, he posted a special fundraising page for the family on the Titus Relay website. Those interested in supporting the Langhoffs can donate directly to the site.
“I’ve been very surprised at people’s generosity,” Langhoff said. “It’s been wonderful to get the support from so many people — even people we’ve never met before.”