Charlie the dog had been wandering the streets unaccompanied when a car hit him. To make matters worse, the heartless driver didn’t stop. Instead, he left the dog to die by the side of the road. Surely there was no way he could survive?
In January 2017, two men made a heartbreaking discovery while out walking in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. There, on a snowy bank by the side of the road in the rain, was the body of a dog. From a distance, the canine looked lifeless.
As the men got closer, they could tell the poor pooch was still alive – but only just. They had no idea how long the dog had been lying there in the cold. In a bid to get his freezing body warm again, the pair stripped off their hoodies and wrapped them around the animal.
That’s when the kind strangers realized that the dog was badly injured, likely from a car. However, whoever was driving the vehicle had cruelly fled the scene, leaving the dog to perish from his injuries.
Luckily, a passing driver noticed the two men and the dog by the side of the road, so he pulled over to ask what was going on. And when he heard about the dog’s plight, he offered to take him to an animal hospital.
The dog, who rescuers named Charlie, ended up at the animal hospital in Kannapolis. Once there, veterinary assistant Heather Russell took charge of the pooch. She and her team could tell that Charlie needed urgent care.
Aside from causing various cuts and bruises, the car accident had crushed the dog’s pelvis. So, Charlie would need expensive surgery. And his vets estimated that the operation would cost $4,000.
But who was going to pay for Charlie’s medical treatment? After a fruitless search for the canine’s owners, it looked like there was no hope for him. But then, someone had a bright idea.
Refusing to give up hope on the adorable doggy, Jada Sutton, the wife of one of the men who discovered Charlie, set up a crowd-funding campaign. “Unfortunately, Charlie’s owners have not been found,” she explained on her GoFundMe page.
“He has to have surgery on his pelvis to fix three fractures that he has,” she added. “Charlie is indeed a very sweet boy and if we do have any extra money left over we will be donating it.” And, as it happened, the donations from generous strangers soon began flooding in.
Just one day after the page went live, Sutton was bowled over by the kindness people had shown to Charlie. “I can’t express how unbelievably grateful we are for everyone that has donated to Charlie’s surgery fund,” she wrote. “You guys are the best!”
And, in a matter of days, more than 180 people had rallied together to raise $5,000. So, vets scheduled Charlie in for his surgery. “It’s been stressful and I’ve got about twenty extra gray hairs coming in, but Charlie, who was once laying in snow suffering on the side of the road after being hit by a car, is now at Carolina Veterinary Specialist,” Russell explained on the GoFundMe page.
“He’s going into surgery this afternoon,” she added. “Lots of prayers are needed now. He’s in the best hands, we still have a couple of areas that are concerning to the doctor but Charlie is a fighter and he has the best team of supporters behind him.”
Thankfully, Charlie’s surgery went as planned. Vets replaced part of the left side of the dog’s pelvis. He also had a large wound on his leg cleaned and closed up. And the vets monitored his recovery to determine if he needed another operation.
Fortunately, in the days after his surgery Charlie was showing good signs. As his pain medication wore off, the dog regained the ability to sit up and eat. Before everyone’s eyes, he was transforming into the perfect pet.
“I was finally able to see some of his personality come out and, boy, he loves to give kisses,” Russell revealed in an update in January 2017. “They will be sling walking him every six hours, he can’t walk yet but they said he tries really hard. He also ate for the first time today since the accident. He had a huge appetite and loves treats.”
Seeing Charlie’s determination, Russell had no doubt that he’d soon be on his feet. And, when he was, he would most likely go to a new forever home. According to Russell, the pup had already been inundated with adoption offers.
Indeed, just two weeks after his accident, Charlie learned to walk again. Inspired by the dog’s determination, Russell decided to start a campaign to make hit-and-run incidents with animals illegal. If passed, the legislation will be known as “Charlie’s Law.”
And Russell is forever thankful to those kind strangers who saved Charlie’s life through the crowdfunding campaign. “Honestly, I’m speechless. I love animals and I rescue but to have so many people step forward to help him has been amazing,” she told The Dodo. “I can never thank everyone enough!”
If it wasn’t for the generous donations, the vets may have been left with no other option but to euthanize Charlie. And what a waste of a life that would have been. Today he’s a happy mobile dog who will make the perfect pet for someone very soon.