Pregnant chihuahua, babies survive being hit by distracted drive - FOX Carolina 21

Pregnant chihuahua, babies survive being hit by distracted driver in Upstate

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Willow the chihuahua with babies (Source: Jen Towery) Willow the chihuahua with babies (Source: Jen Towery)
Willow after the crash (Source: Tim McKee) Willow after the crash (Source: Tim McKee)

Willow the chihuahua was pregnant with eight babies when she was struck by a car on Sunday.

Tim McKee said he witnessed Willow being hit by an oncoming car on Highway 221 between Roebuck and Spartanburg. McKee said he stopped when he saw the dog crossing the road, but a driver on the other side, who was texting, struck Willow and she appeared to have suffered a head injury.

"I saw the vehicle hit the brakes momentarily and then just continue on," McKee said.

Not wanting to leave the dog injured in the road, McKee got out to help. He said when he approached Willow, she was unconscious. That's when he noticed movement in her abdomen and realized she was pregnant.

McKee drove Willow to an emergency animal clinic and said during the car ride she woke and lifted her head, but when they arrived at the veterinarian's office, it wasn't open yet. He then brought her home, covering her in towels and placing a bag of frozen peas on her head to keep swelling down. When she wouldn't drink from a bowl, he had her lick water from his finger.

McKee already has three large dogs and needed to find a safe place for Willow, so he posted on social media asking for help. The Facebook community, which shared his post more than 100 times, helped connect him with Jen Towery, who operates Pawsome Rescue Project in Chesnee and is currently working to obtain 501c3 status.

Pawsome Rescue has been open for approximately two years and they recently adopted out all their rescues so she had a place for the mother chihuahua.

SLIDESHOW: Willow the chihuahua survives crash, gives birth

Towery helped take Willow to Ark Animal Hospital where they did x-rays revealing she was pregnant with eight babies, a large litter for a chihuahua. She suffered some facial damage including a swollen eye, but did not have any broken bones. When Towery brought Willow home, her water immediately broke and she went into labor.

"There's no doubt in our minds though that the stress is what caused labor and it has been hard on her little body," Towery said.

She said a few of the puppies initially needed CPR and suction, but the four males and four females survived and are all healthy.

"So far they are doing great, but we have to do feedings four at a time because she has so many babies," Towery said.

Pawsome Rescue Project is now caring for Willow and her babies, but the rescue is not funded and having to cover expenses for veterinary treatment, spaying and neutering, food, dewormers, flea and heart worm prevention, and more.

Towery decided to launch a YouCaring page to collect donations for Willow and the babies with a goal of $500. The initial visit for Willow costed nearly $250.

"I truly appreciate any help," she said. "Hopefully the [person] who was texting and driving will see it and know [they] held Willow's and eight other innocent lives in [their] hands."

Click here to contribute to the YouCaring fundraiser for Willow and her puppies.

Once the puppies are approximately eight weeks old and they, along with Willow, are spayed and neutered, the dogs will be available for adoption.

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