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Support sought for longtime Whitefish avalanche rescue dog battling cancer

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 17:45:21-05

WHITEFISH — The ski patrol team at Whitefish Mountain Resort is asking for community support after a longtime avalanche rescue dog was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Reporter Sean Wells headed to the mountain to meet Jett the border collie and his owner Lloyd -- who is all too familiar with cancer impacting his family.

Jett, a 7-year-old smooth coat border collie was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma after his owner and Whitefish Mountain Snow Safety Coordinator Lloyd Morsett found a lump on Jett’s neck.

The cancer diagnosis came as a surprise due to Jett’s on-the-go active lifestyle.

“Jett is a go-getter and didn’t show a single symptom, no pain, no fatigue, no lethargy, just a lump in his neck,” Morsett said.

Jett is one of just two avalanche rescue dogs at Whitefish Mountain Resort where he started patrol back in 2015.

Following his diagnosis, Morsett and his ski patrol team quickly started a fundraising account for their beloved teammate to help cover Jett’s medical bills that are nearing $4,000 due to ongoing chemotherapy.

“We certainly appreciate the support we’ve gotten so far, and anything if we do happen to get donations past that amount will just go to support the dog program as a whole,” Morsett said.

Jett’s life has never been easy as he was rescued off the streets in Utah before he found his forever home with Lloyd and his family.

Jett’s initial diagnosis was too similar to the Morsett’s as both Lloyd and his wife are cancer survivors.

“We know the ins and outs of treatment, how it can go, how it can go well, and how it can go poorly. At first, it hit us pretty hard but then it was we got to get down to business and get this guy healed up,” Morsett told MTN News.

Lloyd says Jett will continue to work alongside his ski patrol teammates this winter as he undergoes treatment, adding that Jett’s favorite place to be is up on the mountain.

“He is going to spend as much time as possible on the mountain as long as he feels good and can perform, he’ll be up working every day,” Morsett said.

Jett has undergone five weeks of chemotherapy and has 14 weeks remaining. Anyone wishing to support Jett on his road to recovery can click here to visit his fundraising page.