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

Polls close at 8 p.m. in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)
VIDEO: Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates reflect on campaign as polls close

An estimated 12,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding

Barb Wright and Cynthia Vance at the District Electoral Office for the Langford-Juan de Fuca (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Polls now closed in Langford-Juan de Fuca

An estimated 12,120 mail-in ballots were requested in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding

Drive up voting is popular with Victoria-Swan Lake voters at the Craigflower elementary polling station. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Drive up voting popular at Craigflower polling station in Victoria-Swan Lake

Nearly 13,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Victoria-Swan Lake riding

Oak Bay High voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Early voting reduces election day turnout in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

An estimated 15,918 mail-in ballots requested in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

This was the line-up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The short-up line speaks to the high number of votes, which have already been cast against the backdrop of COVID-19 by mail or in advanced voting. Voters, however, unanimously praised the safety measures in place, as well the convenience of the polling stations. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
‘Slow’ turnout at polls across Saanich North and the Islands

Peter Mason, district electoral officer, expects about 10,000 ballots to be cast

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Most Read