Service dog hurt in hit and run crash recovering after surgery

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) – The service dog injured in a hit and run crash had a surgery and is recovering. Doctors say he is doing really well.

The dog was hurt Tuesday when an early morning stroll turned into tragedy for the pup named Zephyr and his human partner Paul Kostora. A hit and run driver ran the red light at 5th and 3rd Street South in St. Petersburg. That’s when his service dog and constant companion wound up underneath the car. Thankfully, Paul and Zypher wound up here at BluePearl Veterinary Center. Veterinarians said the pup has three fractures to the right side of his pelvis. The plan is to reattach the left side of his pelvis to his spine.


The problem is the cost of the surgery. It is in the thousands of dollars and Paul doesn’t have the funds to pay for the care. But he and Zephyr have been together for six and a half years through the good and the bad.

You see, Paul suffers from PTSD and Zephyr is his right-hand man. But despite his pain and suffering, Paul has some words of wisdom for the driver of the car who hit Zephyr.

“If you hit an animal, and it was a mistake, take responsibility,” Paul said. “Because some animals are really important to people and they need to be in those people’s lives.”

Zephyr has had his surgery Wednesday and is doing extremely well. Dr. Nicole Salas, the surgeon at BluePearl, fixed the fractures to Zephyr’s pelvis with a plate and seven screws during the 90-minute procedure. She believes the dislocation on the other side of the pelvis will heal on its own.

Zephyr will stay at BluePearl for at least the next day or two while he recovers from the procedure.

Zephyr and Paul are trying to raise money to help pay for the procedure. If you want to help them, you can:


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