COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Two dogs injured in a crash on Interstate 26 in September are scheduled to return home this week after the city's animal shelter and others cared for and raised enough money to pay for the canines' cross-country trip.
Junior and Leo were injured in a car accident on September 18. The dogs were riding in a car with their owners who had traveled from Washington state to see a family member's graduation from Fort Jackson.
The three-and-a-half day trip ended abruptly when the driver lost control of their Geo Prizm while attempting to exit I-26 onto St. Andrews Road to get breakfast.
The driver, her son's fiancee, and her two children were all injured in the crash.
Their three dogs were seen running away from the scene just after the accident. One of the dogs was found deceased, but Junior and Leo were found days later with lacerations and broken bones.
The family was not able to pay for the dogs' return home.
The Columbia Animal Shelter, The Animal Mission, Chasing Tails, and several individuals raised enough money to treat Leo and Junior's injuries and provide transportation home.
They are scheduled to receive a final health exam Wednesday before leaving on Thursday.
Their flight will arrive the same evening as the oldest son, who was training at Ft. Jackson, allowing the entire family to be reunited.
"We know this will be a joyous reunion and this could not have happened without the generosity of our entire community," said Marli Drum, Columbia Animal Services Superintendent. "The support shown for these two dogs and their family has been tremendous."