ORLANDO, Fla. — Children in a Central Florida community rallied to help a neighbor’s injured golden retriever, collecting $400 by selling lemonade to help offset the animal’s veterinary bills.
“She’s very smart. She knows, I always say she is like a human dog,” Serrano told the newspaper.
However, Stevie was hit by a motorcyclist late on the evening of Sept. 4 while greeting Serrano’s daughter, who was arriving home from work.
The dog suffered a punctured lung and a slash in her side, USA Today reported. The motorcyclist did not stop.
Serrano took Stevie to an open animal hospital in a nearby city. Veterinarians reassured Serrano that Stevie would recover after removing a small part of her lung, according to the newspaper.
“I (did not) want her to suffer because I made a selfish decision of keeping her alive,” Serrano said.
Enter the children.
The dog racked up more than $13,000 in bills after her six-day stay in intensive care.
Nine neighborhood children organized a lemonade stand and also sold water, cookies and brownies, USA Today reported.
On Sunday, the children handed Serrano $400 in cash, which they collected from their sales at the lemonade stand.
“I literally just cried,” Serrano told USA Today. “It was so special.”
After receiving cards and toys for Stevie -- and requests asking about how to help -- Serrano decided to set up a GoFundMe page.
As of Monday night, more than $18,000 had been pledged.
Serrano said that Stevie is responding well to treatment, and perks up when she receives visitors.
“The first day they came to see her, ... she didn’t even want to get up,” Serrano told USA Today. “Because it hurts, you know. And when she saw the kids, she literally got up and her tail (wagged).”