A Tulsa family has a tough decision to make after a pit bull attack left their own dog severely injured. The family says they promised to save their dog's leg after he saved their son's life. But their veterinary bills are skyrocketing and they're not sure they can keep that promise.
"He's my little hero, my hero puppy," said Kim Stephens.
Kim Stephens says her son Kyle owes his life to their dog, Kita.
"If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be here," said Kyle Stephens.
In December, they say Kyle was playing in their neighborhood near Pine and Harvard when a pit bull tried to attack him.
"It showed his teeth and it was after him so he came back in the gate and shut the gate behind him. And the pit came over the gate," said Kim Stephens.
Before the dog could attack Kyle, his own dog, Kita, stepped in.
"He had gotten in between the pit bull and Kyle," said Kim Stephens.
Instead of attacking Kyle, the pit bull attacked Kita, leaving him with more than 50 gaping puncture wounds.
The Stephens' believe the pit bull came from nearby Sequoia Park, where people are known to drop off unwanted animals. After the attack though, the dog was taken to the animal shelter where it was ultimately put to sleep."
"They kept it for seven days and nobody claimed it," said Kim Stephens.
For the Stephens', no owner meant there was no one to pay Kita's veterinary bills but themselves and the attack happened just before Christmas. The Stephens say they were forced to spend their Christmas money to save his life.
"Kyle told me, he says, 'mom he saved my life. You need to save Kita.' So that's what we did we took the kids Christmas money that we were going to spend on them and we saved the dog," said Kim Stephens.
So far they say they've spent more than a thousand dollars and Kita still has a gaping wound on his leg that needs surgery or it will have to be amputated, which the Stephens say they don't want to do.
"He did save Kyle's life and if we could save his leg I'd rather do that," said Kim Stephens.
Kita's vet told the Stephens the surgery he needs will cost up to $3,000 and they say they simply cannot afford to do that.
If you would like to help the Stephens family, you can send them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.