TAMPA, Fla. — Thanks to a community outpouring that raised $15,000 in a day, Niko the dog who was hit by a car and shot is now set for back surgery at BluePearl Veterinary Partners.
Niko, an 8-month-old Catahoula leopard dog, was taken in by Hernando County Animal Services. The agency then enlisted the care of the SPCA Suncoast, based in New Port Richey. Niko had been hit by a car and dragged along the road. When the SPCA performed an X-ray, they were stunned to discover two bullets inside the dog.
Now, surgery is scheduled for Dec. 10 at BluePearl’s Tampa hospital. Dr. Michael Kimura, who is board-certified in veterinary neurology, said the surgery will repair a fractured vertebra. Pins will be inserted into the vertebra and it will be stabilized with a technique called external fixation.
After getting involved in the case this week, the SPCA Suncoast set up a gofundme page this week which raised more than $15,000 in a day, including one individual donation of $5,000, far exceeding the cost of the surgery.
“We’re just overwhelmed. It’s amazing that the community can do so much in such a short period of time,” SPCA Suncoast Executive Director Kerrianne Farrow said on Friday. It’s incredibly sad to think that all of his injuries have been caused by humans, intentionally or unintentionally. But Farrow said you would never know it by Niko’s demeanor, and that the support is inspiring. “It kind of restores your faith in humanity,” she said.