Community helps cover medical bills of dog involved in hit-and-run

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Sarah Zimmermann
July 14, 2015

JANESVILLE—Rose Pomplun drove a different route to get ice cream last week and wound up spearheading a campaign to help a little dog who was hit by a truck.

Pomplun, 28, and her fiance, Joshua Jenke, were heading to Frostie Freeze about 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 8. Despite making the journey dozens of times, Pomplun deviated from her usual way that day, taking a right on East Memorial Drive instead of continuing on Milton Avenue.

At the intersection of West Memorial Drive and North Walnut Street, David and Nick Utterberg, ages 10 and 9, were walking their 2-year-old miniature Australian shepherd, Dottie.

Dottie got loose and ran into the road, where she was hit by a truck.

The truck driver left the scene without stopping. Pomplun was driving behind the truck, and she, Jenke and three other bystanders stopped to help the boys and Dottie.

“At first, I thought she was dying,” Pomplun said of the dog. “She was as stiff as a board.”

Pomplun and the boys took Dottie to a couple of area clinics. However, the family did not have the money to pay for a large veterinary bill, leaving Dottie without medical care.

Pomplun posted a plea for help on the Janesville Swap Meet Facebook page. People quickly responded, suggesting clinics that would take Dottie. Pomplun set up an appointment at Badger Veterinary Hospital so people could donate money to fund her medical bills, and she started a GoFundMe page.

Within a day of Pomplun's Facebook posting, Dottie's medical visit to Badger Veterinary Hospital was paid off.

So far, more than $430 has been raised for Dottie's medical bills. Pomplun said it was amazing to see how the community rallied around the boys and their dog.

“I think people realized these boys really deserve to have a second chance with their dog,” she said.

Recently, David and Nick wrote Pomplun a letter. The letter states, in part, “The minute when she (Dottie) got hit by a car, I thought she was dead, but the nicest lady in the world came and helped us fix her. Thank you very much, Rose!!! And everybody who helped pay to fix her.”

Dottie is currently in stable condition, said Sue Schumacher, director of marketing and public relations for Badger Veterinary Hospital. She has a concussion, a wound that needed surgical repair on her right front leg and nerve damage in her left front leg.

Schumacher said doctors will have to see if Dottie needs further repairs on her left front leg. It's possible that it might need to be amputated.

Dottie's medical fund still has $180, which will be used to pay for her upcoming visit. Until doctors know more about her left front leg, Schumacher said people should hold off on donations.

The animal hospital has been receiving donations “left and right” for Dottie, Schumacher said.

“The community is stepping up and assisting in a situation that needed help,” she said.

As a longtime animal lover, Pomplun believes it was more than just a wrong turn that brought her to the scene of the accident. If she had driven her preferred route that day, she wouldn't have had the chance to help Dottie, she said.

“I feel it was divine intervention.”

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