June 19th, 2019 10:00am

Shepparton resident Michael Hoye was given Riggy, a White Shepherd, almost 12 months ago but he was initially hesitant to accept the puppy because he knew dogs came with a lot of responsibility.

However, the pair instantly bonded and have been inseparable ever since.

‘‘Everywhere I go, he comes with me, he’s my baby boy,’’ Mr Hoye said.

Unfortunately, their special bond was nearly torn apart when Riggy was hit by a car in the early hours of last Saturday morning.

A distraught Mr Hoye rushed Riggy to the vet and discovered he had a haemorrhaged lung, dislocated hip, and a fractured shoulder blade.

Riggy getting treatment

Being in between work and on a Newstart pension, Mr Hoye didn’t know how he would afford his best friend’s life-saving surgery.

However, the charity Pet Medical Crisis heard about his dilemma and stepped in to give Riggy a lifeline.

Pet Medial Crisis is a registered not-for-profit charity which helps pensioners with the cost of unexpected vet bills.

It raises money through fundraisers but also has a generous Facebook community which regularly donates to heart-breaking stories.

Charity founder and director Jennifer Hunt said Riggy and Mr Hoye’s story was felt hard by her community and had since raised nearly $7000 to help fund the vet bill.

‘‘We help people whose animals are integral to individuals’ mental health,’’ Ms Hunt said.

She said the charity was founded for people like Mr Hoye who relied on the mental, physical and social benefits that came with pet ownership.

Mr Hoye said he was shocked to hear the amount of money people had donated. ‘‘It made me cry, people are so kind,’’ he said.

Although the accident has been devastating for Mr Hoye, it has given him a new outlook on the way he sees people, communities and his own life.

‘‘I wouldn’t have thought there were so many giving people out there,’’ he said. ‘‘It inspires me to go out and help the community and do more good for other people.’’

Riggy has been supported through Pet Medical Crisis donations through 2 major surgeries. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Rest and heal sweetheart… Love from all your friends at PMC xxxxooooxxxx

Pet Medical Crisis relies on public donations to assist pensioners and disadvantaged owners who cannot afford life-saving veterinary care.