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Small Shih Tzu Hit by Car Reveals Big Hearts in Community – The Story of Lawton Lucky

Story by Nancy Mace and James Meeks

Lawton Lucky
Photo by: James Meeks

UPDATE 1/15/14 9:05 pm: The Vets say that this is one of the worst HBC (hit by car) cases they have seen in a long time. Lawton Lucky has had to undergo extensive surgeries. Click here to find out how he is doing.


I saw a picture of this dog Wednesday on the Lost and Found Animals of Lawton Facebook page. As I read the story of what happened to the little Shih Tzu mix, my heart sank and I just wanted to do whatever I could to get this poor pup help.

The story of this little dog (which has since been named Lawton Lucky) starts with a Second Lieutenant with the 438th Fires Brigade named Zac Roberts.  On Tuesday evening Zac saw Lucky on Rogers Lane chasing cars. As he was trying to get the dog off the busy road, Lucky was hit by one of the passing vehicles. Zac described it in his Facebook post

This guy was chasing cars on Rogers lane west about 1/2 mile from the Fort Sill Blvd exit.
I put on my blinkers and on foot tried to get him to get out of the street.
He seemed to think that I was playing chase and was hit pretty hard by a car doing at least 50.

His back legs were hurt bad but I bet that he can recover.
I called 911 and an officer took him in the back of his cruiser.

He did not have a collar but looked to have been groomed within a couple of weeks. He has a very good temperament.

He sustained some pretty substantial injuries but Zac wasn’t sure how bad they were. Roberts immediately stopped and called 911 where an officer arrived and transported Lucky in his cruiser.

I spoke with Rose Wilson, Director of the Animal Welfare – City of Lawton and she stated they were contacted by Lawton PD on Tuesday evening and an animal control officer met the police officer at NW Ft. Sill Boulevard and transported Lucky to their facility at approximately 8:30 pm. The shelter contacted their vet and the dog was examined. He was given pain medication and kept as comfortable as possible until the next morning when they could begin researching where the little guy might belong and how extensive his injuries were.

In the meantime, early Wednesday morning, I happened to see the posting in Lost and Found Animals of Comanche County and shared it to my Facebook page. I’m not sure if this is where Sharleen first became aware of Lucky or not but she contacted the shelter so that she could get the dog to a veterinarian and get him the care that he needed.

According to Ms. Wilson, the shelter is unable to release an animal to anyone, other than the owner, within the first 72 hours UNLESS the dog needs immediate medical attention. In cases like this they are able to give a medical release if the person taking the animal agrees to become responsible for any medical costs incurred. Understand that the Animal Welfare department just does not have the funds to take on extreme cases like that of Lucky. In this case, Sharleen Gehers agreed to the medical release, signed the papers and met them at Hergenrether Animal Hospital and accepted financial responsibility for Lucky’s medical care.

Soon after that Sharleen reached out to me and asked if I would help her raise money to pay for the care of this sweet little dog. I told her I would do whatever I could to help. Sharleen set up a fundraising campaign on Petcaring.com to cover as much of his medical expenses as possible and I began sharing the link on every Facebook page I could think of. As of Thursday evening we had almost $2,000 raised.  Early on Friday morning I was informed that the cost to treat and to rehabilitate Lucky was rising. We were going to need a lot more donations. X-rays show that his pelvis is broken in two places, his left femur is totally snapped and his left fibula is fractured.  – See more at: Petcaring.com. I decided to write the story of Lucky in the hope that we could raise awareness and get this little guy the care he needed and deserved.

Lawton Lucky Xray
His injuries are extensive

Dr. Anthony Fiorillo of Hergenrether Animal Hospital, has stated they stabalized Lucky and did what they could to make him comfortable for his journey to Houston. He arrived at the clinic malnourished and going into shock. Lucky’s prognosis however remains guarded until the necessary treatment needed is identified and started by the specialist in Houston. Dr. Fiorillo stated that the recovery from the operation could possibly take in excess of 3 to 4 weeks or more.

Sharleen volunteered to transport Lucky to an orthopedic specialist in Houston; with the assistance of Lone Star Shih Tzu & Lhasa Apso Rescue (LSSTLAR), an all-volunteer organization based in Houston, she is getting Lucky the care he needs. The group is dedicated to saving the lives of Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos and to finding these animals loving and caring homes.

Lawton Lucky has a very long road ahead of him. He has a long trip to Houston, extensive surgery and weeks of recovery and therapy. When I looked into this little dogs eyes I saw just the sweetest soul. He looked a little scared but seemed content and comfortable. I asked for permission to pet his head and reached into the kennel and cradled his head and began stroking his head and face. I began to talk to him in a soft voice as I stroked the top of his head. “You are a brave little boy. You are going to be taken care of and you need to rest.”  I felt him rest his head on my hand and relax, if just slightly and he looked up at me with big soft eyes and gave me a light sigh. My heart just melted.

Lawton Lucky
Photo by: James Meeks

Dr. Fiorillo informed us that if you find an injured animal – approach them with caution. An injured animal is scared and may lash out and bite. If you can approach the animal safely, take them to the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible for medical attention. While at the veterinarian, the doctor will search for any indicators (micro-chips, tags on collars, etc.) to see if the animal has an owner. I highly recommend you microchip your animal. Many times our pets take off without their collar and tags and are almost impossible to track.

If you wish to donate to Lawton Lucky’s operation and after care you can visit Petcaring.com to make your donation. LSSTLAR states that if there are excess funds raised the surplus funds will go towards other injured animal campaigns the organization holds.

I will continue to update you on Lucky’s progress. Just keep checking back for updates here.

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