You and Your Pet: New hip help needed for Bongo

Bongo Stefano needs a new hip. photograph kate withers

Bongo Stefano needs a new hip. photograph kate withers

Cavalier King Charles spaniel Bongo Stefano was just a pup when he had major surgery to repair a displaced knee cap.

One year later the other knee gave way to arthritis and the beloved pooch went under the knife again.

For owner Cherie Lal, the decision was a no-brainer.

"They're your kids. I don't have human kids and if you've got a kid you do whatever it takes and it's the same with Bongo," she said.

Now nearly five years old, Bongo is facing his biggest challenge yet.

Monthly anti-inflammatory injections have been a temporary solution but what the cuddly canine desperately needs is a new hip.

"I know what he's going through because I've just had a hip replacement myself," Cherie said.

"I just think 'well I can't handle the pain so why should he have to?'."

The Morwell resident has sold many of her most valuable possessions to pay for Bongo's medical expenses to date but is struggling to come up with the $6000 needed for Bongo's new hip.

"It adds up. I'm living on a very tight budget because I'm living on a disability pension," she said.

"I'd rather go hungry to feed him, which I have done, and I will always look after him first.

"I just love him and I really don't know what I'd do without him."

Cherie has built steps for Bongo to access the lounge room couch and her bed where he sleeps under the covers every night.

"That's just him. I can't let him jump off the couch or bed and he just understands why," she said.

"I would love nothing more than for him to get this new hip that he needs."

To help Bongo, visit

Do you have an unusual or interesting pet?

Or perhaps you just think your prized pooch, cuddly cat or beautiful bird is so photogenic that it deserves its moment in the spotlight.

The Express is looking for passionate Latrobe Valley pet owners who would like to tell the story behind their pets and why they matter in their lives.

If you would like your pet to feature in a future edition of this weekly column, email with 'You and Your Pet' in the subject line.

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