It took the community to catch a dog on the loose, and the Santa Clara community is what it will take to save his life.
When long-time Santa Clara resident Karrie Wedlund adopted a jet black dog from Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority on Nov. 8, she was getting the one thing she was missing – companionship. Wedlund, a disabled senior citizen on a fixed income, suffers from depression and was told by her therapist that having a companion service animal could help with her mood.
“I live by myself,” said Wedlund. “It’s nice to have the company … I just love having him here.”
As Wedlund adjusted to her new companion, Jasper, a Chihuahua mix, slipped out of his collar and escaped near Franklin Square on Nov. 13 – when wheelchair-bound Wedlund was on her way to volunteer at the Santa Clara Senior Center. Through the efforts of concerned citizens, including Sharon Knight and members of the Santa Clara Police Department, Jasper was caught, but not before the 14-pound dog was struck by a car on El Camino Real and seriously injured.
Even though she had just met Wedlund, Knight transported the pair to the VCA animal hospital on El Camino Real where Wedlund was told that Jasper had multiple injuries including road rash and broken bones. The worst injury, however, was when Wedlund was told that the cost to save Jasper’s life would be upwards of $4,000 – an amount Wedlund could not afford.
“I’m gonna figure out how to pay it one way or another,” said Wedlund. “I fell in love with him and I just want to keep him and he seems to want to stay … I just never expected this to happen. The vet bills are expensive.”
Knight, who gone has over to Wedlund’s house every day since the accident to help with Jasper’s care, has seen firsthand the bond the pair has developed and is determined to raise the funds needed to pay for Jasper’s medical bills. She has set up a GoFundMe page and is hoping the community will come together and save the dog that has touched Wedlund’s heart.
“When you see these two together, it’s a really good match,” Knight said. “He’s a loving dog, and he loves her … We’re taking this day by day. It would devastate her to put him down. We have to make sure this little dog gets taken care of. This little dog literally means everything to her.”
Wedlund is grateful for any financial help and can’t believe a woman, the police department and people she hadn’t met until Jasper got loose would come to her aid.
“It’s amazing how many good people we have here in Santa Clara,” she said. “This is such a great town to live in … The police department is great, but the people stand right up there with them.”
All of Jasper’s medical bills are currently being placed on Wedlund’s emergency credit card, but as a retired senior citizen, there’s little hope that she will be able to pay the bill once it arrives.
Donations are being accepted through Jasper’s GoFundMe page, http://www.gofundme.com/hh203o.