Veteran seeks help in saving dog | KOB 4

Veteran seeks help in saving dog

Morgan Aguilar
April 18, 2018 06:01 AM

RIO RANCHO, N.M. - A Rio Rancho man says his dog being attacked by a pit bull may have been a blessing in disguise.


On April 4th, a pit bull accidentally ended up in Steven Kemp’s backyard. Kemp says she was scared because she didn’t know how to get out, and when she lunged toward Kemp and his wife, their 6-year-old Boston terrier, Tonka, jumped into action.

“She ignored my dogs, came at us, Tonka but himself between us and he wasn't willing to risk us getting injured,” said Kemp.

The pit bull grabbed Tonka by the ear and shook him. He ended up with cuts on his neck and throat, and a ruptured eardrum.

“It was horrific,” said Kemp. “It was so terrifying because I thought she was going to kill him.”

His vet said Tonka would be just fine, but while they were there she discovered Tonka has cancer. He now needs 2 surgeries to remove the cancerous lesions within the next month. It would lead up to about $2,000, which is a price the Kemp’s would pay in a heartbeat if they could.

“I would give my life for him if I could,” said Kemp.

Tonka has been with Kemp since he was a puppy. He isn’t certified support dog, but Kemp says he might as well be.

“When I get into a really dark, horrible place, my mind clicks directly to, ‘suicide is the only way out,’ and this guy prevents me from hurting myself,” said Kemp.

Kemp suffers from PTSD from serving in the Navy during the First Gulf War, and Tonka knows just how to handle lit.

"He puts his chin on me and he'll stay with me,” said Kemp. “If it's an attack that lasts several hours, he'll be there every minute of it."

The Kemp’s are asking for the community’s help to save Tonka’s life, since saving Tonka means saving Steven, too.

“My life, I don't know how long it would last,” said Kemp. “I don't know how worth living it would be without him.”

Anyone interested in supporting Tonka’s surgeries can donate here.


Morgan Aguilar

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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