2020 has not been a good year so far for one Longmont puppy.

Sam, a 2-year-old yellow lab, is a member of the Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States, a non-profit that aids law enforcement and other rescue agencies in finding missing people.

However, Sam took a turn for the worse on Sunday (December 29). His handler, Cathy Bryarly, took him to the veterinary emergency room the following day (December 30) after his health began rapidly declining.

According to The Denver Channel, veterinarians originally suspected that Sam had meningitis, and performed a series of tests on the pup, including MRIs and a spinal tap.

Doctors quickly realized that Sam did not have meningitis, but still gave him antibiotics.

Sam has been improving since taking the medication, but the treatment has left Bryarly with around $6,000 in veterinary bills.

Prior to his illness, Sam was a stand-out volunteer for the search and rescue organization. Specializing in human remains detection and water searches, the dog has helped on multiple Colorado cases, including that of Rita Gutierrez-Garcia.

Dogs with these abilities are worth around $20,000.

Thankfully, Sam and Bryarly aren't facing this trying time alone. Their search and rescue friends have set up a fundraiser to help cover Sam's veterinary bills.

Veterinarians still aren't sure why Sam is sick. However, Bryarly is hoping that he will be home next week, and back to volunteering within a month.

Feel better, Sam.

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