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Dog set afire in Troy now battling cancer

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | March 29, 2024 7:00 AM

Percy, the beloved Alaskan malamute who gained fame and compassion after being set afire nearly four years ago in Troy, is now battling cancer.

The Pet Connection Rescue Sanctuary in Libby launched a fundraiser on March 17 to help pay for his treatments.

According to a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/f/champion-for-percy-help-him-beat-the-c-word-ancer?utm_source=instagram_story&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_lico%20share-sheet&utm_content=ig_variant_story&fbclid=IwAR3EjYAiVDmVo3cfOUBrpokXT6Uyse-59Im4YiZTpBHTj-GhfmOb-WTn250) set up to explain what Percy is dealing with and the expenses his owner, Drew Munn, is incurring, the tab so far is about $24,000.

Drew Munn and his brother, Cosmo, residents of Lake Louise in Alberta, adopted Percy following his recovery at Pet Connection and with his foster family in Lincoln County.

But things have been very rough lately for the Munn family. According to the GoFundMe, Cosmo died in January and Percy was diagnosed with cancer in February. Drew has been battling long COVID and is only able to work nine hours per week.

Percy’s past and future treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, a clinical trial vaccine, X-rays and blood work. There are also considerable travel costs associated with the care he’s receiving for the cancer in his jaw.

Percy was less than one-year-old when he was found searching for food in a garbage can in Troy. Three surgeries later, Percy had lost the majority of his ears. 

According to a Pet Connection Rescue Advocacy and Sanctuary March 18 post on Facebook, Percy had finished radiation treatment. He and Drew Munn then traveled to Edmonds, Washington on March 26 for a new cancer vaccine.

Munn reported that Percy had no reaction after receiving the vaccine, his chest X-rays were clear and he was able to take a little walk on the grounds at the Bridge Animal Referral Center.

Percy was set afire by 34-year-old Domingo Jose Palafox. Palafox pleaded guilty to aggravated animal assault in November 2020 in Lincoln County District Court. He was also found guilty in December 2020 of two counts of witness tampering by District Judge Matt Cuffe.

Palafox threatened to take a hit out on two men who had seen a video of Percy being set afire. One of the men saw the video and got into an argument with Palafox in a convenience store in Troy. Palafox threatened the men if they talked to authorities about the video. The brothers then approached law enforcement and Troy police officers arrested the now-convicted man.

Palafox was also convicted of assault with a weapon in 2022 in Flathead County and sentenced to five years. His sentences in Lincoln County totaled 22 years, with 12 suspended. He also received a 5-year sentence on the assault charge in the Flathead. In that case, he was accused of shooting at two anglers in June 2020 while they boated near Doris Point on the Hungry Horse Reservoir.

He is currently locked up in the Dawson County Correctional Facility in Glendive.