Fremont company helps save homeless man's puppy

A Fremont company has paid $12,000 in medical care for a homeless man’s puppy after an employee accidentally hits the dog with a work van. The owner of the dog is grateful the company helped to save the dog's life.

Seven-month-old Jack Russell Terrier Mix "Minnie" is one lucky dog. She’s recovering at Beacon Veterinary Pet Hospital in Fremont after being hit by a car.

Minnie belongs to Al Rivera, who stays in a trailer near Auto Mall Parkway in Fremont along with Minnie’s brother Hana.

"Those are my kids," said Rivera. "I raised those two. Minnie is a fireball."

On Tuesday, Rivera took the dogs out for a run. A Walters and Wolf construction company work van was coming down Christy Street when Minnie bolted in the street. The driver accidentally hit her.
"I immediately saw her roll and she went into the bushes and she hid and I looked at her and I could already see her leg was chewed up," said Rivera.

Minnie was taken to Beacon pet hospital under the care of emergency doctor Jessica Portela.

"When she came in, her foot was pretty mangled, she was in pain, in shock," said Dr. Portela.

Among Minnie’s injuries included a broken leg, a fractured pelvis and several toes had to be amputated. Minnie was at risk of being put down.

Even though Walters and Wolf technically wasn't responsible because the dog was off-leash, the company didn't hesitate to pay for the medical bill.

"I think the final estimate was somewhere between $12-14,000," said Dr. Portela. "They put down a $12,000 deposit."

"That was astounding, she really knocked me off my feet when she would fit the bill it didn't register until a couple hours of later," said Rivera.

Rivera said a lot of times people look down upon the homeless. This time, they didn’t.

"Honestly it was very heartwarming, it’s not something you hear every day," said Dr. Portela.

Minnie is expected to make a full recovery. The company also paid for her to be spayed and vaccinated and bought the dog new leashes.

"I think they are nice beautiful people for doing that," said Rivera.

Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.