ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - UPDATE:
Abbey, the seeing eye dog who was badly injured in a hit and run accident, is recovering from her surgery, and thanks to donations from the Tampa Bay community, there is enough money to cover all the care Abbey needs.
"The Tampa Bay community truly came together and as of this Thanksgiving morning, the wonderful members of our community have donated enough money to cover all of the required care for Abbey," said James Judge of BluePearl Veterinary Partners said in a statement.
He says the dog isn't out of the woods yet, but she is recovering. If people would still like to donate money to help families who may not be able to afford specialty or emergency life saving veterinary care for their pets, BluePearl, visit http://frankiesfriends.com or call BluePearl Veterinary Partners to get more information about Frankie's Friends at (813) 933-8944.
Friday morning, a car made a u-turn while Abbey was in the front yard. The car struck her and sped off, leaving her with expensive internal injuries her blind owner can't afford.
Everything about an apartment near 29th Street and 5th Avenue North in St. Petersburg screams "Merry Christmas," such as musical reindeer and several trees.
The dog who lives there, however, may not make it to Thanksgiving.
"It's OK, Abbey," Terry Ellrick said. "It's OK."
Two-year-old labrador mix "Abbey" only drinks water and hasn't eaten in five days. She's Ellrick's companion guide dog and helper.
Legally blind, Ellrick depends on her to help walk him to the grocery store, and even to the bathroom. Now, she's hardly able to get off the couch.
"She can't hardly walk but she took me to the garage this morning," Ellrick said.
Friday morning, a car made a u-turn on 5th Avenue North while Abbey was in the front yard. The car struck her and sped off, leaving her with expensive internal injuries.
"She can't die on me. She can't," he said. "She's my life."
Ellrick's friends helped him with $1,600 worth of initial tests, but eventually ran out of money.
So, they told him to contact ABC Action News.
We called Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa and they agreed to see her immediately.
Abbey needed extensive fluids for dehydration and malnutrition. After examining her for about 15 minutes, Dr. Jacqueline Nobles gave an initial diagnosis: Abbey's gall bladder ruptured and she has about a 50% chance at recovery.
"As soon as she gets out of surgery we'll call you and let you know how she's doing," she told Ellrick. "We're going to do everything we can to get Abbey back to you."
Now in the intensive care unit, Abbey gave one last kiss before surgery, and Ellrick gave her one last pep talk.
"Come on! We got to be OK," he cried. "We're going to be OK."
BluePearl Veterinary Partners is accepting donations from the public to assist with the cost of care for Abbey. Anyone wishing to make a donation is encouraged to contact BluePearl's hospital in Tampa at 813.933.8944.
Additionally, St. Petersburg Police are looking for the driver involved in the hit-and-run and request for anyone with information to call 727.893.7780.
The alleged collision occurred at 5th Avenue North and 29th Street in St. Petersburg Friday at approximately 10 a.m.