Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rocco wrap up (Case closed!)

After recently turning his life around, Justin now needs help saving the life of his 6-year-old dog who has seen Justin through all of his hardships. Justin Durrell is a familiar sight to NDG residents. Rain or shine (or 30 below), this young man can usually be found panhandling outside the corner of Sherbrooke and Hingston.

Justin is friendly with many locals, who give him change, or bring him hot coffee on cold days. They are also familiar with Justin's two beloved dogs, Rocco and Molar, who are always by his side. But lately residents have noticed that one of his dogs, Rocco, has been absent. Rocco recently suffered a leg injury, and Justin is desperately trying to raise money for an operation. He was playing ball and took a bad fall. He tore his ACL ligament and hurt two others - needs expensive specialized surgery to recuperate. Operation and recovery will cost 3, 700$. Justin ended up on the streets after a hard start to life and a series of foster homes. Justin has recently gotten off the streets and is in his own apartment, but doesn't have the money for Rocco's operation.

Justin’s plan was to try and raise 50$ a day panhandling for about 60 days to be able to afford the surgery. Even at –30 despite concerned citizen’s warnings Justin was on the streets desperately trying to come up with the money. Christmas day and all of New Years Eve, Justin still continued to relentlessly try and raise money for Rocco. However with the collective help of the community and good Samaritans we hope to be able to help Justin and Rocco and see them through the surgery and recovery.

As the word of Justin and Rocco buzz around NDG, Montreal and across North America (Thanks to the
C4P Newsletter) this rescue story has quickly brought an entire community together in the efforts to save Rocco. From local vet clinics and businesses advertising Rocco’s story to neighbors coming together and donating an entire community is working together. From as far as Walkin’ Wheels in the states donating a much needed doggy wheel chair for Rocco to The DMV foundation covering 1000$ of the surgery and helping us raise money. Even Diane Bond from House of Shoes is organizing a ‘Shop for a Cause’ day for Rocco January 31st. The community is in motion, and Justin’s dream of seeing Rocco back on his feet is coming closer and closer.

Rocco had his surgery January 19th at the DMV with Dr. Plante - and Rocco is doing GREAT, thanks to the DMV Foundation!

Eleven Eleven Animal Rescue was able to raise online 1000$ of 3700$ for Rocco's surgery!

Also thank you to the DMV Foundation who donated 1000$ towards his bill, The House of Shoes who raised 350$ at their Shop For A Cause day for Rocco, and an anonymous good samaritan who donated 500$ to the DMV for Rocco's surgery.

We would like to thank the contributors: Yulya Faibusovitch, Elena Benelli, Angie Laurusaitis, Stefan L'Esperance, Marie-Aude Gagnon Rousseau, M. Michelle Nadon, Kim Gladding, Kimberly Jeffrey, Elizabeth Abbott, Amy Webb, elizabeth cowan, Marie Kirby, Philippe Daviau, Anna Campagna, Joan Fraser, Jesse Radz, Ceilia Guigui and Luigi D' Agnillo.

We also would like to thank: Nathalie Simard from The DMV Foundation, Dr. Planté who preformed the surgery, Lisa Marie from Walkin' Wheels, and Diane Bond from The House of Shoes for all of their support.


  1. Met Justin today, he was raising money for yet another surgery for Rocco. Did any of you hear about this? Can another fundraiser (I originally wrote fun-raiser!!) be organized to help these guys?

  2. Just a quick question, who is actually benefitting from this money? I have watched Justin peddle Rocco around for weeks now and seen him collect quite a bit of cash, yet Rocco is still out there in the extreme heat. Are we really saving a dog here or are we financing someone with our generous donations? Given the people that came to bat for Rocco last time I fail to understand why he is back on the street once again in a different part of NDG/Westmount and with such an organized appeal. I love animals but am not sure my moeny is going to Rocco...anyone care to follow-up on this story and find out what the real deal is here???
    I am worried for Rocco's health and don't think this is the best way for him to get the help he supposedly needs.
    - A concerned Animal lover

    1. Justin Durrell now has two different dogs, one named Scotty and the other Mishka, he panhandles normally in front of Pharmaprix by St. Laurent and Deluth. He says he makes $100 a day and I personally have seen him with piles of $2 and $1 in front of himself which totalled over $300. He still gets help from welfare and of course doesn't claim any of the income.

  3. Good question, actually.

  4. For his first surgery we dealt with the funds directly, the money was raised, accounted for and given to the veterinarians directly through Eleven Eleven. We even personally took Rocco to and from the vets, brought pain medication when he ran out, delivered the wheel chair he needed, and drove to the DMV weekly to continue to pay the bill for Justin. We can ensure you that all of the funds raised went directly towards his medical bills.

    However because of Justin's failure to meet signed agreements with us, and also failure to respect our and veterinarian recommendations, we are no longer in contact with him.

    We have no contact or control over what Justin is doing with the funds for surgery he now needs again (for the other knee), your guess is as good as ours. We can only hope it is really Rocco who is benefiting this time around.

  5. this is justin durrell speaking and rocco is schedualled for the 7th of sept at the dmv the reason why i have had trouble raising fundstto this time is because i am not working right now just to let people know that one generous lady has given a 1000 doller donation dirrectly to the dmv and i have raised at least 500 dollers cash so far with just 40 days left my goal is to get 40 people each day to donate a toonie witch is then saved each day till sept 6th when rocco will be dropped off feel free to call dmv in lachine 514 633 8888 to verify this also the dmv is isueing tax recipts for large donations yours truly rocco durrell and justindurrell

  6. now 1 year after roccos second surgery he has finally got back to his old self with the exception of some weight gain witch i will be working on this summer with high protein diet and lots o9f exercise thanks to all who helped
    justin and molar and rocco durrell