Suspected DUI driver accused of maiming dog arraigned

SAN DIEGO - A woman accused of maiming a dog after driving drunk through a Vista neighborhood was arraigned Tuesday.

Nadinia Cardoza, who did not appear in court, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges.

Police say she was driving 50 miles per hour when she crashed -- hitting, maiming and nearly killing someone's family dog.

"It was just amazing to see that dog actually survived the accident," said Michael Ehrengruber, the father of the dog's owner.

Ehrengruber and his wife Jamie showed up in court to support the victim in the case: their son Jason's dog Lucky.

"He's a family member and we're here to support him," said Ehrengruber.

Police say Cardoza ran over Lucky when she drove drunk through a neighborhood and crashed through his dog house in December. Lucky's hind leg was broken so badly it had to be amputated.

A little more than a month after the crash, Lucky is out of the dog house and into the big house. He is getting used to three legs and waiting for his hair to grow back.

"When I go to see my son ... (Lucky's) always laying on the bed there spread out … king of the hill," said Ehrengruber. "He's well taken care of."

Ehrengruber added, "He's rambunctious. He just popped up. He just runs and hops along. Actually, Jason calls him 'Hoppy.' He's a fighter."

Lucky's surgeries cost $7,000. Much of that money was donated by viewers after 10News ran the story.

10News also stopped by Cardoza's Vista home on Tuesday, but she was not there.

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