Dog injured when suspected drunken driver crashes into back yard dog house of Vista home

VISTA, Calif. - A dog named Lucky had a tough break Tuesday morning after a suspected drunken driver crashed into his yard.

Staff at California Veterinary Specialists in Carlsbad wanted to observe Lucky through Wednesday before his owner, Jason Ehrengruber, makes a difficult decision. He will likely decide to amputate Lucky's leg for about $7,000 or attempt to save it for about double that, which may not take.

"He's family," Ehrengruber said. "He's my little boy."

Both of his boys, Lucky and his Boxer, Ryder, were outside Monday night. But, it was Lucky, a five-year-old American Bulldog pit bull mix, who was cozied up in the doghouse Ehrengruber built by hand.

Ehrengruber told 10News a the car slammed through his fence, into his yard and crushed his dog house in the 2500 block of Foothill Drive in Vista.

The people in the house said they heard a loud crash and a big boom and ran out to see what happened.

Ehrengruber's roommate, Jason Hector-Lopez, said the female driver and her male passenger were "hammered" and tried to take off.

"The driver got out and was running. We ended up stopping them," Hector-Lopez said. "The guy tried to bribe us with money to get us to take him home."

Ehrengruber said he could not find the two dogs that were in the yard for about 10 minutes.

"I found them down in the grass, curled up down there just bleeding and shaking and scared and nervous," Ehrengruber explained.

With the help of a neighbor, he scooped Lucky up in a sheet and loaded him into a car. Staff at California Veterinary Specialists got him hooked up to monitors right away. An X-ray revealed Lucky's shattered hip.

"I'm just bummed for my dog that he's going to be missing a limb, and he's not going to be able to play like he used to, and I just hope he gets better," Ehrengruber said.  

To make matters worse, he said he did not have the money to pay for the surgery -- estimated to cost several thousand dollars.

Then, thoughtful 10News viewers reached out. The phones at the veterinarian's office were ringing off the hook by mid-morning.

The California Highway Patrol told 10News the woman was booked into jail on suspicion of driving under the influence.

While CHP could not confirm it, Hector-Lopez told 10News he heard officers say the woman blew a .22 on a breathalyzer, which is three times the legal limit.

Those who would like to donate funds to help cover the cost of Lucky's surgery can email

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