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Ontario family reunited with pet French bulldog hit by car

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This story contains details that may disturb some readers. Discretion is advised. 

A young family who lives in Innisfil, Ont., has been reunited with their two-year-old French bulldog Hugo, who was hit by a car after running into the street last week.

About 10 days ago, Anthony and Sadie Rossano gave birth to a baby girl named Rooney. After they brought their newborn home from the hospital, Sadie’s brother stopped by the couple’s home in Gilford for an unexpected visit.

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“I was trying to scramble to open the door and say hi to him and hold the baby at the same time,” Anthony told Global News.

“Hugo got excited. I tried to get him on his leash before we opened the door, and it didn’t quite happen, so he slipped out, and then I guess he saw something from across the street and he booked it across the street.”

Hugo the French bulldog is just over two years old and was hit by a car in Innisfil, Ont., last week.

Hugo the French bulldog is just over two years old and was hit by a car in Innisfil, Ont., last week.

Supplied/Rossano family

Sadie said she and Anthony initially thought the driver drove away, but her brother told them to leave so they wouldn’t see the couple’s horrified faces.

“He wasn’t in great shape,” Anthony said of Hugo. “I didn’t see it, and I’m glad we didn’t because it would have been pretty traumatic, but he was apparently convulsing on the road. Sadie’s brother Dylan picked him up and just held him there and he called for us. He had blood all over his face and a gash underneath his neck, and we weren’t sure what kind of shape he was in.”

The couple immediately started looking for an emergency vet and found one in York Region, where Anthony said they were charged $650 at the door and an additional $3,700 for X-rays and to keep Hugo overnight.

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“I had to scramble between three and four different cards to come up with the $4,000 and pay at the door before they did anything to him,” he said.

“Once I paid that, they said, ‘OK, we’re going to keep him overnight, run some tests and we’ll call you tomorrow.'”

The next day, Anthony said the vet called and told the couple that Hugo needed surgery, which was going to amount to $5,000-plus, but before that, they had to perform a CT scan, which was going to be another $3,000.

“We were thinking about actually seriously considering just putting him down,” Sadie added. “We were obviously going to be devastated, but we couldn’t afford that, with a newborn and we’re also trying to open a local restaurant here, too.”

The couple talked it over and felt something seemed off, so they took Hugo to another vet in Barrie, Ont., where he was formally diagnosed with a broken jaw and a throat gash. Hugo then received surgery there, which came to a total of more than $3,000, and the Rossanos picked him up a day later.

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At the second vet in Barrie, Sadie said she and Anthony were told that putting Hugo down “wouldn’t have even been part of the discussion.”

“It kind of broke my heart thinking that we almost put him down for a broken jaw,” Sadie said. “Overall, we’re just thankful that he’s home.”

A GoFundMe page was set up to help the young family with Hugo’s surgery and vet costs. It’s raised nearly $9,000.

Hugo’s recovery is estimated to be 10 weeks. Anthony and Sadie need to take him back to the vet in mid-August to get the wires removed from his jaw.

The Rossanos plan to open their restaurant called Gilford Local Eatery at the end of June or early July.

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