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)

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

 

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

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)

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

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mckenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)
Council to consider raising taxes in 2021

The District of Clearwater council is considering a tax increase this year… Continue reading

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read