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Chase Utley needs new knees. This, you know. But while Utley, the baseball player, has avoided surgery and appears to be relatively healthy for the 2013 season, his puppy counterpart, with whom he shares a name, won’t be able to avoid the knife.

Meet Utley, the nine-month-old Shepherd mix, adopted by All-Star CB reader Erin in September. Things were great at first, but recently, Erin learned that Utley needs reconstructive surgery on both knees. It’s going to cost around $8,000, which Erin, a 24-year-old who just earned her master's degree (and all the debt that comes along with it), doesn’t have. So, she needs your help.

Erin started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for Utley’s surgery. Here's what she wrote on the site:

Meet Utley! Utley and his littermates were rescued from a shelter in Georgia by the East Coast Adoption Agency, and taken to a foster home in Cherry Hill, NJ. I adopted him in early September of 2012. He was 4 months old and the most wonderful, well behaved, and adorable puppy I'd ever seen. I’d wanted to adopt for years, and when I saw his photo online, I knew immediately that he was my boy.  I’m not the only one who thinks he is special. In fact, every day people will literally stop in their tracks to give him some love. People have even stopped their cars right on the street to roll down the window and ask about him. He's a unique, wonderful dog and I loved him from the first big wet kiss he gave me. Being a lifelong Phillies fan, I named him Utley, after my favorite baseball player Chase Utley. He is affectionately known as "UtButt" by his friends and family. I can honestly say that Utley is as well loved in our South Philadelphia neighborhood as his famous namesake is.

Unfortunately, Utley's name was more appropriate than I could have guessed. Much like Chase, Utley has struggled with some hip and knee issues in his short life. He was recently diagnosed with ruptured cruciate ligaments in his knees and needs corrective surgery so that he can rejoin his friends at the dog park and get back to fielding tennis ball grounders like a champ. I can not afford the surgery he needs. I am exploring any and all options I can to give my boy the life he deserves. Utley would benefit most from having surgery on his knees in late March or early April of this year. Each knee would cost about $4000 to repair and would give him the chance to have a much happier and pain-free life. He has brought so much joy to my life in the last 6 months and I only wish to return that favor for him.


And here are some pictures, to melt your heart on this 14th of February:

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And a video, BECAUSE HE’S SUCH A GOOD BOY (!!!).

Erin has already raised $2,000 in just over two days. "The generosity of friends, family, and strangers alike has been staggering," she said.

But her Twitter (@phillierin) will only reach so far, and she has a long way to go before reaching her goal. UtButt’s CB friend, Hayley, just added 50 bones to the pot to help her buddy get back on his paws. And you can do the same. So what do you say, show a little puppy love this Valentine's Day? Donate here.