A sulcata tortoise who has been a mainstay at a homeless shelter in Louisville, Kentucky, for more than seven years is fighting for his life after he was accidentally run over by car.
The tortoise, known throughout much of the city thanks in part to his daily three- to five-hour walks with his caretaker, is in critical condition and has the support of many in the community as he tries to recover from his injuries.
Spike was walking in the parking lot of the Wayside Christian Mission homeless shelter with his caretaker, William Duncan, when a Wayside volunteer unknowingly ran Spike over. His shell was cracked in two places, according to Wave 3 News.
“The lady didn’t stop. She thought it was a rock in her way and just went up over Spike, the front wheels of her car did,” Duncan told Wave 3 News.
“Then she tried to back up and go forward and drug Spike for a little bit like 10 or 15 feet and Spike was pinned under her car,” Duncan added.
Several police officers who responded to the accident jacked the vehicle up to free Spike from underneath the car and then escorted the injured tortoise to the Shively Animal Clinic and Hospital.
Spike spent several hours in surgery at the hospital to repair his shell, though his prognosis is unknown, according to Wave 3 News.
“Right now he’s got a chance,” Spike’s owner Nina Mosely told Wave 3 News. “We don’t know how bad things are so it’s going to take a while for him to work through that and to heal.”
Mosely, the chief financial officer of the mission, told ABC News that the community, including alumni of the mission’s substance abuse recovery program, has rallied around Spike. She also said she has received hundreds of wishes of support for her tortoise and one person in the community has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Spike’s veterinarian bills.
“Spike has been a mascot at Wayside, and he’s especially important to the folks in the recovery program,” Moseley told ABC News. “He’s been a living example for them, showing how like him, recovery is a slow and steady process. You can’t hurry through it.”
Spike remains in critical condition. We are all hoping for a slow and steady recovery.