Dog News

Veteran’s Service Dog Hit by a Car While Chasing Burglars

by Melanie

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Hoaloha is a therapy dog for my husband, who is a US Army veteran, suffering from PTSD and the loss of half of his arm…

Posted by Hoaloha the Veteran’s Therapy Dog on Saturday, November 14, 2015




This comes from Hoaloha’s fundraiser page:

Hoaloha (Hawaiian for friend), was recently hit by a car and broke his spine as well as severing his tail. My husband is a veteran of the US Army war in Afghanistan. He suffers from PTSD and lost his left arm at the elbow.  When he came home I got him Hoaloha, who is trained as a therapy dog. He has done wonders for my husband. If you’ve ever witnessed debilitating panic attacks and traumatic nightmares, you know how important and calming a dog can be. That’s what Hoaloha has done. My husband no longer needs anxiety medication and his nightmares are reduced greatly. Not only that, but he is a wonderful service dog, able to open cabinets, doors, and help to pick up things. To say that Hoaloha saved his life and brought him back to us is no exaggeration.


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Three weeks ago, while we were over at our next door neighbor’s house, some local trouble makers tried to break into the back of our house. Hoaloha was in the house and when the back door was pried open, he charged out of the house and chased the punks away. Unfortunately he chased them out of the backyard and into the front yard and into the street, where he was struck by a car driven by a 70-year-old neighbor woman of ours. The poor woman couldn’t do anything to stop. She saw the two people run across the street in her headlights and was in the process of slowing down when Hoaloha crossed in front of her. Hoaloha was struck in the side by the bumper of her car, partially pinned under the front tire, and immediately began yelping in pain.

We were right next door and heard the squeal of tires and commotion of Hoaloha’s yelping. We immediately ran out there to find him curled at a disturbing angle. Our poor neighbor who hit him was beside herself, traumatized by the event. She thought she killed our dear Hoaloha.


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My husband was crying, slumped over him, holding his head and kissing his face. My heart was breaking. I, too, thought this was the end of Hoaloha’s life. My husband recently told me that he had seen some disturbing things in Afghanistan, but this is an image that continues to haunt his dreams and he fears it will stay with him forever.

We were able to get Hoaloha to the emergency animal clinic and they set to work right away. They took Hoaloha away in the back and made us stay up front while they evaluated the situation. We could still hear the yelps and whimpers coming from the back. When they got the x-rays of his back and tail, they let us know that he would require surgery for his back and that his tail would be amputated, that there was no guarantee that he would walk properly again or even survive the surgery and that the cost would be very expensive.  This did not deter us one bit. I knew we had to save the dog that saved my husband, the same as if you’d save your child. Money becomes a non-issue. I told them to go ahead with the surgery and fix Hoaloha.


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Hoaloha did survive the surgery and we were told that he would need a good deal of rehabilitation, which would again be another expense, but one that we didn’t need to pay up front. He would also need regular check-ups and he spend almost a week in the clinic recovering. They say that dogs heal so much better than humans, but the look in Hoaloha’s eyes told me that he was in pain, confused, scared, and just wanted to go home and run around again.

To date we have maxed out all of our credit cards, taken up a paper route, sold all of my husband’s tools and his antique Military War Memorabilia collection, sold our non-essential furniture and have gotten rid of our cable provider – all in an effort to put together the money. We have paid a little over $7,000 to make sure the surgery was done, with the promise to pay the remaining $8,000 within 60 days. Included in this is the rehab that Hoaloha has to go through.


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In order to make sure that he walks properly again and without pain, he needs to have this rehab, which is every day for four weeks. It is important that we get these payments to the clinic to continue this process. My husband is very against asking for charity and he is limited in what with his physical and mental health disability. I was told to try Fundrazr as a good place to try and raise the remaining money so here I am, giving it a try.

Please, if you are able to give even a little bit, please help if you can. Hoaloha has saved my husband’s life – I truly believe that – and now it’s time that we repay the favor to him.

I will continually update this page with progress reports and pictures. Thank you so much for reading our story.

If you would like to donate and help give this family a good Christmas, please CLICK HERE.


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