Syracuse Woman Heartbroken After Driver Kills Service Dog in Hit and Run Crash
A graduate student at Syracuse University is grieving the loss of her service dog after a heartbreaking hit-and-run crash.
Around noon on November 29, Haley Michlitsch was walking her service dog, Addy, when a car pulled out and sped in front of them. Haley told CNYCentral that Addy moved in front of her and the driver hit the dog, dragging him about 20 feet before driving off.
"If you had stopped you could have kind of helped save my dog's life, potentially," Haley said in an interview with CNYCentral, sending a message to the driver, who has still yet to be caught. "It would have been a very different outcome, but right now there's just a lot of sadness and anger, and you hurt me. You did end up taking my best friend and my saving grace and dog that was saving my life."
Haley has Addison's disease, a potentially life-threatening disorder where her adrenal glands don't produce enough cortisol. At just 10 months old, Addy was trained to sniff out a difference in cortisol and blood glucose levels in Haley's saliva and to alert her if they were too low.
"It was just like an extra comfort," Haley told CNYCentral. "I think we just knew we were made for each other and there to kind of protect each other as best as we could."
Addy's hard work provided the opportunity and security for Haley to live independently, and now without him, her mom is dropping her off and picking her up from SU because it's dangerous for her to be alone.
Family and friends have already started a GoFundMe to help Haley pay off the rest of Addy's training and transport, while also raising funds to get a new service dog. Haley only had Addy for a little over a month, and still has about two years of payments totaling $8,000 for his training. A new service dog to help Haley live independently will cost an additional $15,000.
Funds have already started pouring in and as of Monday morning, her community had raised over $16,000.
Syracuse Police told CNYCentral that they are still investigating the hit and run, and encourage anyone with tips to call the department at 315-442-5151.
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