Local boy raises money for dog’s surgery

Dominic Locatelli, 12, recently raised money for a Yorkie’s surgery by selling cookies and lemonade. Not only that, Locatelli started fundraising even before he met the dog.

Locatelli heard about Rosie, a 7-month-old Yorkie, after the dog’s story popped up on his mom’s Facebook page. Rosie, a rescue dog, had a heart murmur and was in need of surgery.

“I wanted to help because we just had a 17-year-old Yorkie pass away,” Locatelli said. He added that he wants Rosie “to have a long life.”

Locatelli, who lives with his family in Carlsbad and plays in the Encinitas Little League, raised $1,100. And 132 people contributed a total of $6,260 through the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.

All told, the money Locatelli brought in and the GoFundMe donations covered the surgery costs.

A July 2 update posted on GoFundMe states there were complications and it was a difficult surgery, but Rosie no longer has a heart murmur. The update thanked all those who contributed.

Locatelli got the chance to meet Rosie a few weeks ago.

“I was so happy we got to meet,” he said. Pictures show the dog licking his face.

When he was selling lemonade and cookies, some asked Locatelli why he isn’t taking the money and buying things for himself.

“I already have most of the stuff I need and want,” Locatelli said. “So I thought I’d do something good.”

Michelle Robertson-Clark, who started the GoFundMe page, said she’s very grateful for Locattelli’s efforts.

“It came out of left field, but what a welcome surprise,” she said.

Robertson-Clark is the owner of The Rescued Pup, an animal shelter in Ramona that took Rosie in.

Dan Locatelli, his dad, said Dominic never hesitates to lend a hand.

“He jumped in with both feet and did this all himself,” Dan said. “It’s very rewarding to have a son who thinks of others. It’s how he’s wired.”

Before Rosie, Dominic sold lemons last summer to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. Previously, Dominic’s appendix was removed there.

Dan recalled: “Dominic told me, ‘The nurses are really nice and everyone worked hard. I want the money to go to them.’”