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Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt

There are so many horrible stories of animal abuse, when you read one like the following it restores your faith in humanity. Heather and Jonathan...

Horst Hoefinger  |  May 4th 2009


There are so many horrible stories of animal abuse, when you read one like the following it restores your faith in humanity.

Heather and Jonathan Brinker not only saved the life of dog, they took extraordinary steps to do so.

The easy thing for Heather and Jonathan Brinker would have been to simply close their eyes and walk away.

But these two dog lovers, who are owned by three rescued dogs, didn’t do the easy thing when they witnessed a stray black lab get hit by a car last week.

Instead, Jonathan, a mortgage consultant in Mooresville, darted across traffic and scooped the injured dog into his arms. The dog, in pain and scared, did what many dogs in those circumstances do – she bit Jonathan. He still clung to the dog, returning to his vehicle. From there, he and Heather rushed the canine to Lake Norman Animal Hospital.

Several surgeries later, the dog Heather named Shadow is defying the odds and is recovering. It’s been expensive for Jonathan and Heather, but they’ve been helped by a group called Friends of the Animals, and contributions poured in for Shadow’s care.

Thus far, of the more than $6,400 Shadow’s care has cost, donations have covered some $2,400 and they have faith the rest will come in.

Shadow’s remarkable story began when Heather, driving on Interstate 77 near exit 36, spotted the dog in a ravine just off the side of the interstate. “I tried to get her to come to me but she was scared,” Heather said.

Heather picked up the cell phone and called Jonathan, who was in a business meeting in his office nearby.

He told his clients he had to go and drove to the ramp. Within minutes, Shadow got hit. “That’s the worst sound I’ve ever heard,” he said.

She dragged herself across two lanes of interstate traffic into the median, and Jonathan went to get her.

Even though he got bit for his efforts, Jonathan didn’t give up.

After Shadow was stabilized at Lake Norman Animal Hospital, the Brinkers took her to Carolina Vet Specialists in Mecklenburg County.

There, Dr. Jason Balara operated on her to take care of her shattered pelvis.

Remarkably, despite getting hit by a car at about 60 mph, Shadow suffered no other injuries.

Told it would cost around $5,000 to repair Shadow’s pelvis, Jonathan and Heather didn’t hesitate.

“It may be a bit crazy to try to save a dog that we do not even know, but it is simply the right thing to do,” he said.

Looking into her eyes, Heather said, they knew they had to give this animal a chance.

When Shadow recovers sufficiently she will go to the Brinkers until they can find her a forever home. Since they already have three rescues they feel Shadow will be better off with a family where she will receive more one- on- one attention.

In the interim Shadow is going to need costly rehabilitation therapy so that she will be able to resume a normal life. Want to help?

Anyone wishing to contribute to Shadow’s care can do so through the Friends of Animals Web side at friendsoftheanimals.net or by calling Carolina Vet Specialists at (704) 949-1100. Donations on the Friends of Animals Web site can be made via Pay Pal and are tax deductible. Please indicate the donation is for Shadow.

* Pic of Shadow courtesy statesville.com