Keshia Spenst and her trauma therapy dog Fifty before he was seriously injured in a hit and run on Watson Road near Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack on Dec. 5, 2019. (Submitted)

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

To have a family pet hit by a vehicle driven by someone who then took off is bad enough.

But Keshia Spenst’s eight-month-old miniature pit bull Fifty isn’t just a beloved family pet, he’s a trauma therapy dog for her and her boys.

Keshia Spenst and her trauma therapy dog Fifty before he was seriously injured in a hit and run on Watson Road near Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack on Dec. 5, 2019. (Submitted)

“I have PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder],” Spenst told The Progress Monday. “As a single mother living with my two kids, we ended up getting him as a comfort and for protection.”

It was last Thursday when Spenst came home from work. She let Fifty and her other dog out into her back yard. Her yard has two gates leading to the front of the house on Watson Road, gates that she never opens. But this day, for some reason, a gate was left open.

Just a few minutes later, a neighbour knocked on her door and said Fifty had been hit by a car. He was nowhere to be seen. Spenst, her mother and her two boys spent a frantic 45 minutes searching for him when her mother spotted a blood trail. She followed it and there was Fifty, hiding beside a backyard fence a few doors down.

“He was just gushing blood out of his mouth and his nose at the same time,” she said. “I threw him in the car and went to the vet hospital. They ended up sticking tubes down his nose. There was so much blood that they couldn’t stop it.”

A witness, who Spenst didn’t directly speak with, told neighbours he saw the driver of a red SUV hit Fifty. He or she stopped briefly, but then drove away.

By Thursday evening, Fifty was at a veterinary hospital in Langley for a CT scan, and Spenst was facing $5,000 in bills. That number has climbed steadily since then, and on Monday he was set to undergo surgery in Langley to repair his broken jaw.

Clearly the injuries could have been much worse, but Fifty’s jaw and orbital bone are broken, and two molars are broken.

“He’s doing decent today,” she said on the phone from Vancouver. “I just dropped him off at the oral specialist.”

Given the trauma Spenst and her boys have endured – the details of which she does not want publicized – Fifty is a huge part of creating calm and stability in the home. So having him seriously hurt by a negligent driver is very upsetting.

And now she has to deal with upwards of $10,000 in veterinary bills just before Christmas, bills she can’t afford to pay. To help out, Spenst’s 14-year-old son Kaiden set up a GoFundMe to help his mom.

“We have been through a lot the last couple years and Fifty helps us get through it every time and I think she knows it would be devastating for us to experience another loss and would do anything to help us but I know she can’t afford the bill,” Kaiden wrote on the GoFundMe page. “I know that most people that live here are struggling like us and don’t have much money to help out but even a small donation of even a few dollars would help towards the bill.”

Keshia has been sharing updates on Fifty’s condition over the weekend, and she is willing to share receipts with anyone will to donate because she knows people can be skeptical of potential scams.

Click here to see Kaiden Spenst’s GoFundMe.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Keshia Spenst and her trauma therapy dog Fifty before he was seriously injured in a hit and run on Watson Road near Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack on Dec. 5, 2019. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Vernon Fire Rescue Services work to put out a structure fire in an abandoned house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
WATCH: Abandoned Vernon house on fire

Single-lane traffic in effect on the highway in both directions

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
LETTER: Turning Points director applauds staff after electrical fire in Vernon

‘Our staff went above and beyond for our clients… but this is nothing new,’ says executive director

Vernon product Quinn Jones, better known as Jaq Havoq, released his sophomore album Mood Swings ahead of fall 2020. (Contributed)
Vernon product drops sophomore album

Jaq Havoq examines love, heartache and depression in Mood Swings

Vernon once again boasts the lowest gas prices in B.C. Oct. 20, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon boasts lowest gas prices in B.C.

Gas going up, and down, throughout the North Okanagan

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

View of Larsson Hill from DriveBC camera at 7:25 a.m. on Oct. 21. (Contributed)
Vehicle incident at Larson Hill causing delays up to one hour on Coquihalla

The incident has blocked traffic in both directions

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

A 20-year-old man was pronounced dead following a three vehicle collision on Highway 1 west of Revelstoke Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (File photo)
One dead after Highway 1 crash near Revelstoke

20-year-old man pronounced dead at the scene of a three vehicle collision west of Revelstoke

Steven Stuart Gardner has been charged with possession of a firearm contrary to an order and possession of a firearm without a licence. He has also been charged, under the Motor Vehicle Act, with driving while prohibited. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Car connected to shooting, dumped in Chase leads to unrelated arrest

Investigation of Kamloops shooting leads police to a rural Chase property

Most Read