Tuesday, January 23, 2018
News Roundup

Donors pay for St. Petersburg guide dog's treatment

TAMPA — A guide dog may live after being hit by a car, thanks to animal lovers who donated to pay for her care.

Abbey, a 2-year-old mixed breed belonging to Terry Ellrick, was struck by a hit-and-run driver about 10 a.m. Nov. 16 at Fifth Avenue N and 29th Street in St. Petersburg.

She was taken to BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a specialty and emergency animal hospital, where veterinarians found she needed surgery to save her life. Ellrick, 59, was unable to pay for her care.

By Thanksgiving morning, BluePearl had received enough donations to pay for Abbey's medical needs.

"At one point, every one of BluePearl's phone lines in Tampa were occupied with generous donors wishing to help Abbey," said James Judge, a BluePearl spokesman.

Stacey Wieder, BluePearl practice manager, said, "Some people have apologized that they can't do more to help, but what matters is that any amount, regardless of size, adds to the effort and together everyone becomes a part of Abbey's care."

Judge said Abbey is doing well and recovering from the surgery.

Although donations are no longer needed to pay for Abbey's treatment, Judge said those who would like to help other families who can't afford specialty or emergency care for their pets should donate to pet foundations.

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