‘Meant to be there’: Couple helps save life of dog hit by car, starts fundraiser for surgery

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GARDEN CITY, S.C. (WBTW) — After witnessing a truck hit a dog and continue driving, a Myrtle Beach couple stepped up to get the dog to the vet and started a fundraiser to cover the $9,000 bill.

Zachary Corrado got Merlin, a 160-pound Irish Wolfhound, when the dog was three months old.

“Ever since then he’s been my right-hand man,” Corrado said. “He’s been with me everywhere that I go.”

Now at almost five years old, Corrado says Merlin is his life and they go to the beach often so Merlin can run.

On Feb. 16 when Zachary and Merlin were leaving the beach, Merlin ran into the street where a truck hit him and sped off.

On their way home from dinner, Drew Kreiling and his wife Sharon Chuduakowski Kreiling who are dog lovers themselves, saw the entire thing happen.

“I looked and I saw the dog laying in the street, screaming,” Drew Kreiling said. “[Sharon’s] running so I quickly took the jeep and turned it in front of Zack who had just got to the dog and he was screaming. ”

It took six men to get Merlin into the bed of Zachary’s truck. Once they did, Drew Kreiling drove them straight to an emergency vet while Sharon Kreiling drove ahead of them with her hazard lights flashing.

“I was riding down Business 17 and there is a bunch of lights, but every light was green,” Drew said. “Every light I was praying,” Sharon Kreiling added. “Please light don’t be red. Don’t be red. We don’t have time. We made every single light.”

After the emergency vet stitched up Merlin, he was sent to Charleston for a surgery to rebuild his leg.

“He had a plate, a pin put through his whole humerus, 16 screws and two wires to hold the whole thing together,” Corrado said. “It took upwards of six hours with two surgeons and two assistants.”

The cost of the surgery was more than $9,000.

“He is a part of my family,” Corrado said. “He is my best friend so without hesitating I pretty much gave them every dime that I had.”

After learning of the high vet bill, Sharon and Drew Kreiling said they knew they needed to help somehow so they started a fundraiser.

“I posted it and within minutes I had like $300 and the next morning Sharon went online and saw it was up to $500,” Drew Kreiling said. “Overnight we got up to $500.”

That figure has since grown into nearly enough money to cover the cost of Merlin’s vet bill.

“It’s just a blessing and I can’t thank everyone enough” Corrrado said. “We’re overwhelmed.”

People have also donated dog food, blankets and beds.

While Merlin still has a long road ahead, Sharon Kreiling says all signs point to a full recovery. Sharon, Drew and Zack have now formed a strong bond. Sharon adding she now thinks of Zack as a son.

If you would like to donate to the fundraiser, click here.

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