ALCOA, Tenn. (CNN/WATE) -- A Tennessee community rallies to help a service dog that one family credits with saving the life of a terminally ill boy.
Since the day Juno joined the family, she and Lucas have been inseparable. Lucas' mom Jennifer Hembree says, "Juno has always looked at Lucas like he's her pup."
That's why it was devastating to the whole family when the dog became violently ill this weekend and was rushed to the vet. Jennifer says, "As of Saturday they were treating her for stress-induced colitis, which is very common in working dogs."
The Hembrees say Juno must sense that Lucas' condition is worsening. Chester Hembree says, "He has went downhill in the last month, so that's been a lot of stress for her."
This time apart has been difficult for everyone. Jennifer says, "Lucas woke up this morning asking about her. He would look at Nicole his home health nurse and say, 'Where Juno? Where Juno?' You can't tell him she's sick and in the hospital because he doesn't comprehend that.
Because the Hembrees are already struggling with Lucas' medical bills, the Blount County SPCA has stepped in to raise money to treat Juno.
So far more than a hundred people have chipped in for a total of more than $3,000. Jennifer says, "I feel overwhelmed, but very blessed just knowing that there's still caring hearts and caring people out there that love animals. Deep down they understand why it's so important to get her better."
The Blount County SPCA says any additional money raised will be used to pay Juno's future vet bills.