Dog Seriously Injured by Hit-and-Run Driver in Chula Vista

An owner was faced with putting her dog down when she couldn't afford the surgery

A college student was faced with the choice of putting her beloved dog down after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Chula Vista.

The morning of April 3, Christina Tamayo picked up the phone to receive some scary news: her Rottweiler-Labrador mix, Max, was seriously injured in a crash.

The dog had jumped the fence at her boyfriend’s house and ran into 2nd Avenue near E Street in Chula Vista. There, a driver in an unknown vehicle hit the dog and sped away.

Arriving at the scene, Tamayo didn’t realize at first how serious Max’s injuries were. The dog’s face as dripping with blood, but he seemed alert.

“When I saw him, he was fine, and once they picked him up to go to the vet, he started crying and crying,” she said.

Max had suffered a broken leg, a broken pelvis, a dislocated hip and needed stitches – information Tamayo said she found out after paying $500 for just a consultation at a Chula Vista veterinary office.

Tamayo would have had to pay another $4,000 up front for the vet to perform surgery. The price tag was more than Tamayo – a full-time criminal justice student at Southwestern College – could afford.

“My mom said I need to put him down, but I said, ‘I can’t. He’s like my kid,’” Tamayo told NBC 7.

Max had just turned six-months-old, and Tamayo knew he could survive the injuries.

Instead, she took Max to a veterinarian in Rancho Santa Fe, who charged $2,000 for the surgery and put Tamayo on a payment plan.

“I’m just happy I got to give him a second chance and happy to see him peaceful,” Tamayo said.

But now, she must find the money to pay for his surgery bills. To help, Tamayo’s sister-in-law, Ashley, started an online fund with the goal of raising $2,000.

As for Max: the dog is recovering well. Tamayo said he’s still in pain when she moves him, but after more rest, he will be fine.

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