Nonprofit raising money to save dogs in need of lifesaving medical treatment

May 3—PENNS CREEK — When Cassidy Fegley's 1-year-old golden retriever, Evie, needed surgery to remove a leg infected with bone cancer, the Penns Creek resident turned to Watson's Wish Foundation.

"The surgery was expensive and we'd already spent a lot on initial visits to find out what was wrong with her," Fegley said of needing help to cover the vet bills.

Watson's Wish Foundation has paid for life-saving medical treatment for 19 area dogs in the past 1 1/2 years.

Jessica Beninsky, a former Trevorton resident who recently moved to Harrisburg, started the nonprofit organization in 2022 after learning that many animals are euthanized when pet owners are unable to pay for necessary treatment.

"It's a big issue in veterinary medicine and it's heart-wrenching," said vet tech Andie Szczepkowski who works at Selinsgrove Vet Hospital.

Several dogs brought to the facility and other area vet offices in need of major surgery have been treated with assistance from Watson's Wish Foundation.

"I want to help all animals, but there are so many in need that we specialize in dogs," said Beninsky who named the foundation for her beloved 5-year-old corgi, Watson.

She set a goal to provide financial assistance for the lifesaving treatment of 15 canines this year. To date, 10 animals have been served.

The financial assistance was a relief for Fegley.

She was referred to other financial assistance programs, but none were local and the help was not available.

"I reached out to Jess and everything happened so quick," said Fegley who received $3,000 from Watson's Wish Foundation to cover more than half the cost of Evie's surgery.

"That helped tremendously and I'm so thankful," she said, adding that Evie, now 2, has recovered and is doing well. "She is an excited and happy dog."

To give back to the organization, Fegley volunteers at Watson's Wish Foundation fundraisers in order to continue helping others.

The next fundraiser will be a "Coffee for Canines" event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at IV Coffee Company, 100 N. 3rd St. in Sunbury. For more information about Watson's Wish Foundation, visit or the organization's Facebook page.