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Cottonwood family raising money for surgery after emotional support dog was hit by a car

Cassandra and Jose Ponce with their dog, Lluvia
Cassandra and Jose Ponce with their dog, Lluvia
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A Cottonwood family, whose son is battling depression, is hoping to raise enough money to save their son's emotional support dog after being hit by a car.

Because of all this Covid, my son tried to commit suicide because he's not able to communicate and be at school with his friends," Cassandra Ponce said about her son Jose.

She said he's been battling depression and was going down a very dark path until he was given his emotional support dog, Lluvia.

Ponce said Lluvia is a 9-month-old black Lab and Australian Shepherd mix breed.

"The therapist recommended we get him a dog, so we got her, and we've had her since she was a puppy."

She said since they found Lluvia, Jose has been doing better and the two of them are the best of friends. Things began to look better until they heard the sounds of screeching brakes and a squeal outside their Cottonwood home on December 30th later that evening.

The family found their dog laying in the driveway after being hit by a car.

Ponce said they drove her to an emergency vet in Chico and were able to provide her emergency care for $2,500; however, she added with her family already in a financial struggle, that vet visit took all of their savings.

She said Lluvia needs pelvic surgery as early as Monday to be able to walk again and help support their son, Jose.

"I just don't want her to not be able to walk," Jose said. "She's made me feel better, and I just want her to be able to go back to normal.

Jose said Lluvia has given him back life and joy, and now he wants to do the same for her.

She has saved my son's life...tremendously... Because she has done that, it's only right to try to save her life," Ponce said.

But due to financial struggles, the family needs a miracle.

"Since she's been hurt, he lays by her crate and sleeps with her every night...Just seeing him like that, and seeing her not be able to run and play and go to the bathroom the way that she used to, it just kills us," Ponce said. "She's our world and she saved my son and I feel like it's only right for us to try."

A friend of the family has started a GO FUND ME page to help raise money for Lluvia's pelvic surgery. Ponce said for those who don't want to donate to the Go Fund Me page, there are other options.

She said she and a friend will be selling bakery items and hot cocoa at the Holiday Market in Cottonwood on Gas Point Road on Tuesday from Noon to 8 P.M.

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Donations are also being accepted at the Cottonwood Small Animal Clinic on Gas Point Road.

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