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

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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)

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