MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of Minnesota’s most beloved pets has passed away. Schoep gained national attention after a photo of him and his owner in Lake Superior went viral. He was 20 years old.
A message posted on the Schoep and John Facebook page said simply, “I breathe but I can’t catch my breath … Schoep passed yesterday, more information in the days ahead.”READ MORE: Drive-By Shooter Targets National Guard Humvee In Minneapolis, Injuring 2 Guardsmen
Schoep was a lovable shepherd mix, who lost his sight to cataracts and struggled with arthritis and hip problems.
We first met Schoep after a photo of him and his owner, John Unger, went viral last year. The two were captured floating in Lake Superior — a typical routine for a dog owner who wanted to find joint pain relief for his beloved four-legged friend.READ MORE: Tensions High In Twin Cities Amid Wright Protests, Upcoming Chauvin Trial Verdict
Letters, support and thousands of dollars quickly poured in from around the world — all finding a connection with Schoep and his owner.
The more than $10,000 in donations had been used for a weekly laser therapy to stimulate old cells in Schoep’s body. The cells then reproduced faster, reducing swelling and pain.
The treatments bought Schoep and John one more year together.MORE NEWS: Police: Officers Fatally Shoot Carjacking Suspect Who Shot At Them On I-35W In Burnsville
Nearly 130,000 people have followed Schoep’s story on his Facebook page.