Linda is back home and on the mend after being struck by a car in Hitacu. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Tom)

Tofino-Ucluelet region rallies around injured five-month-old puppy

A puppy is home and healing after being struck by a vehicle in Hitacu

A Hitacu puppy is home and healing thanks to the West Coast’s support.

Linda, a five-month-old German Shepherd mix, was struck by a vehicle in Hitacu — a First Nations village just outside Ucluelet — on Sept. 6, badly injuring her left hind leg.

Her owner, Michelle Tom, told the Westerly News that Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network immediately sprang into action and helped transport Linda to a veterinary hospital in Nanaimo for treatment.

“They were so sweet about it,” Tom said of CARE.

She said the hospital initially believed that Linda’s leg would need to be amputated, a surgery which would cost $3,000 that Tom and her partner could not afford.

A GoFundMe page was launched and Tom was overwhelmed to see over $1,200 raised to support her puppy’s recovery.

“It melted my heart. I felt so blessed and grateful,” she said adding she sent each person who donated a message of thanks and promised to pay their generosity forward in the future.

Tom then received more good news as the hospital called and advised Linda’s surgery had been successful and her leg did not need to be amputated, bringing the vet bill down to $1,900.

She said that, along with the GoFundMe support, she also received financial help from Paws for Hope and Voice of Concern for Animal Life.

Tom said Linda spent five days recovering in the hospital and she and her partner were delighted to pick her up in Nanaimo.

“As soon as she saw me, she was so happy,” Tom said adding she was overjoyed to see Linda in high spirits.

“The reunion was beautiful. She’s my little baby pretty much.”

She said Linda is now back home, but is being carefully monitored and under doctor’s orders to take it easy while she heals.

“She’s limited to 10-to-15-minute walks and she’s not allowed to jump or run,” Tom said, adding keeping the energetic young pup from frolicking too much has been tough.

“She’s really hyper-active and she just loves everybody. She loves every living being and just wants to play with them.”

She said that, without the support she received from her West Coast communities, she likely would have lost her beloved companion.

“The thought of losing her had me and my partner in tears. I just feel truly blessed that I was able to get her back…I would like to thank the people that donated some funds and that’s from the bottom of my heart. I’m just so grateful that she got the help she needed and she’s still her happy self and just as crazy as ever.”

She added she is looking into pet insurance to be more prepared for potential incidents in the future.

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