ST. HELENA — A St. Helena family is asking drivers to slow down and seeking help with veterinarian bills of more than $13,000 after their dog was seriously injured in a hit-and-run.
Callie, a 4-year-old German short-haired pointer, is expected to recover, having undergone one surgery to repair the internal damage and another surgery to fix her broken leg. She came home on Saturday, six days after her injury.
As of Wednesday morning, a GoFundMe campaign called “Help Callie the Dog, Hit and Run Victim” had raised $6,043 to pay her veterinarian bills. The first bill was for $13,200, which doesn’t include the weekly checkups and physical therapy she will need to recover.
“It’s been an amazing response,” said Autumn Anderson, her owner. “I never expected we would have this much help. The online German short-haired pointer community has rallied around her.”
Callie was hit by a car on North Crane Avenue on the night of Aug. 25. A neighbor found her lying on the side of the road in extreme pain. She was rushed to a veterinary emergency room in Santa Rosa and diagnosed with a broken leg and major internal injuries.
Anderson said Callie escaped into the street due to miscommunication with her husband. She had let Callie into the backyard to cool off, not realizing that he had opened the garage door.
The search for Callie began within minutes of her escape, just enough time for the collision to occur, she said.
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Judging from the extent of Callie’s injuries, her veterinarian suspects the car was going faster than the posted 25 mph speed limit. The impact was violent enough to push Callie’s stomach, spleen and liver through her diaphragm and into her chest cavity, causing one of her lungs to collapse.
Anderson hopes drivers get the message to slow down and, of course, stop to help if they hit an animal. The St. Helena Police Department set up a radar speed sign on North Crane on Tuesday morning.
“I don’t know if it’ll help, but it at least makes a statement,” Anderson said.
A social media post about the accident prompted other St. Helenans to complain about speeding on their own streets.
“It happens all over town,” Anderson said. “I think a lot of it is frustration from people trying to shortcut traffic on Main Street.”
Since the incident, the Andersons have installed a screen door on the back of the garage so something like this can’t happen again.
You can keep track of Callie’s recovery on her Instagram page: calliemaximilianagsp.