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Penticton community pulls through for Zippy who ingested cocaine and meth

Gord Portman says he has enough money now to pay Zippy’s future vet bills
Local hero Gord Portman with his dog Zippy stopped by the Penticton Western News office on Wednesday to give a health update on his dog who is slowly gaining weight again after ingesting cocaine and meth while doing outreach work. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

The community has come through for Zippy, Gord Portman’s dog who ingested cocaine and meth while out working outreach in Penticton.

“I want to say thank you to my community for your help with Zippy,” said Portman on Thursday.

Zippy doesn’t need any more donations, he said. “I now have money for his vet bills,” said Portman.

Portman received a Canadian Bravery award for saving a family from a burning house nearly three years ago. At the time, Portman was homeless and had a substance use disorder. Even then Zippy was by his side.

But now Portman is two and half years clean and giving back to those still suffering from addiction by being an outreach worker, checking people’s drugs for them.

It was nearly two weeks ago that he was on the outreach bus and Portman let Zippy out of his jacket for just a moment so he could drive.

“It was in that quick moment that Zippy licked up some cocaine that had methamphetamine in it, said Portman.

The six-pound dog started acting out and Portman knew he had drugs in him. He rushed him to the emergency animal hospital in Kelowna where they gave him charcoal to throw it up.

Zippy is Portman’s recovery dog and his best friend.

Wherever Gord goes, Zippy is always there.

Since the ordeal, Zippy dropped weight to just 2.2 kilograms from his regular 3.2 kg. Portman took him to Dr. Andersons to get weighed on Thursday and he had gained 0.44 kg which is a good sign.

With that good news, Portman joked that he’s now going to have to put Zippy on the waiting list to get into Discovery House where Portman stayed during his recovery.

But Zippy isn’t out of the woods yet. He still has pancreatitis and needs an ultrasound to make sure he doesn’t have a tumour. He’s back at Dr. Anderson’s vet clinic on Monday. But the appointment will be fully paid for thanks to the care of the community, said Portman.

Portman decided to treat Zippy to a spa day at PetSmart on Thursday after the visit with the vet.

“The girls at PetSmart gave him a free spa and nail trim,” he said.

READ MORE: Penticton hero’s dog ingests cocaine and meth while working outreach

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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