CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - On January 11, as snow still blanketed the ground in Cabarrus County, a young golden retriever lay on the side of Highway 73 unable to move.
"Charlie," as he's been named, had been hit by a car and left to die. His body was shivering and cold. A Kannapolis vet technician and animal rescuer, Heather Russell, got the call.
"I was called by a friend of mine who'd found him, saying he was laying in the snow and couldn't walk," Russell said.
Charlie was suffering from a broken pelvis, several gashes, and road rash. Within hours, he was getting veterinarian care at Russell's clinic in Kannapolis.
"We needed to raise between $3,500 to $4,000 for him to have surgery on his pelvis," Russell said.
Here's where a community came together. Without surgery to repair his pelvis, Charlie faced a likely euthanization.
But within three days, a caring community poured thousands of dollars into a special GoFundMe page set up just for Charlie.
"It turned out amazing, that everybody stepped up and donated and wanted to help him. It's actually because of this community that he was able to have this surgery," Russell said.
It's the surgery that saved his life. Charlie now has a great prognosis. He's up and walking around much sooner than expected.
Russell is currently in the process of interviewing people who want to adopt Charlie, looking to find him the perfect forever home.
She's also created a petition page hoping to encourage legislation to make it illegal to hit and dog and leave the scene without providing aid. The petition already has almost 8,000 supporters.