Medical Care for Stray and Disadvantaged Pets

Save River!

Save River!

People throughout the Sacramento and Placer County area are saving River!

A homeless man was working at a Christmas tree lot in Roseville, CA when his sole companion River was hit by a car. The driver of the car that hit River drove away without stopping or offering assistance. Two other vehicles stopped to help move River to the side of the road and then left.

Behind those cars was a Good Samaritan (Jennifer Martin) who pulled over and offered to get them to Pet Emergency Center. Upon arrival, River was in shock and very painful. The Chester Foundation was contacted to help provide funding for diagnostics and life saving treatment. X-rays revealed a fractured pelvis that would require the aid of a surgeon. The cost of surgery and recovery could reach over $6,000.

The Good Samaritan went above and beyond by giving all the funds she had in her wallet to aid with River’s treatment. She then went home and posted the story on Facebook to raise even more funds to save River. Thus began an unexpected Christmas miracle. Donations began pouring in as the news spread of River and his owner’s heartbreaking story. River’s dad has been overwhelmed by the generosity and outpouring of support.


Due to the continued outpouring of donations and support, River had the needed surgery on Dec. 17 to repair his fractured pelvis.  Donations made it possible to not only cover River’s surgical procedure, but also temporary housing.   It is essential that River recover in a confined space and he and his owner must have a place to stay during the cold winter months.

It is the Chester Foundation’s policy to pay service providers directly for procedures and items needed.  All funds raised prior to River’s surgery went to cover those costs, as well as for housing during River’s recovery.  Steve wants everyone to know that he appreciates the funds donated toward River’s care, and the clothes, food and toys for River.  He made the following statement on Thursday afternoon -

“Thank you everyone, but that’s enough!  River is going to be fine.  Please send all donations to the Chester Foundation so you can help another pet that really needs it.”    – Steve

If you would like to drop off donations for other pets in need, you may do so at the Atlantic Street Veterinary Hospital, 1100 Atlantic Street, Roseville, CA  95678.  Donated funds will be made available for emergency procedures, and items donated will be distributed by The Chester Foundation to disadvantaged pets in need.  THANK YOU ALL!  The Chester Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  ID#27-2042978.

$25 or greater – Honoring River!

River was given the best care possible with a team from VISTA Veterinary Specialists, led by Dr. JT Vida, DVM, Diplomate ACVS.  Dr. Vida gave us this update:


Steve assures River that all is well as they leave for a pet-friendly hotel, paid for by generous donations to the Chester Foundation.

As for the surgery: The fracture was rather difficult as the bones were in more pieces than they appeared based on the radiographs. Fortunately, the surgery went very well and we were able to reconstruct the pelvis using a specialized bone plate. River did very well under anesthesia and recovered nicely in the immediate postoperative period.

I stopped by Atlantic Street today to assess him. He looked exceptionally good for being less than a day postop. He was much more comfortable, less swollen and was bearing some weight on the limb with assistance.

Overall, he has an excellent prognosis if he can be kept confined for the next 6 weeks. His age, support from the community and love from the owner will take him a long way.”

Many thanks to Dr. Vida and his team who provided River’s procedure at a reduced rate through their affiliation with the Chester Foundation!  River was discharged and will return for regular check-ups over the next six to ten weeks!

There have been a lot of questions about the needs of River’s owner.  He has consistently responded that “saving River is saving his life.”  He wants to stay in Roseville and wants to find employment. Any leads on employment or housing can be called into Atlantic Street Veterinary Hospital 916-783-4655.

Your continued generosity and support is greatly appreciated and heartwarming!

We will keep the donation lines open if you wish to donate in River’s name to support other animals in similar situations – and there are many that come to the Chester Foundation.  Please use the button below to contribute in increments of $25 to a special fund that has been established in honor of River at the Chester Foundation.  After you click on Donate, the checkout information will display in the sidebar on the right (above the kitty).  Change the Quantity amount if you can donate more than $25.  If you have any problems using this method of payment, please let The Chester Foundation know by sending an email to:

For more information on the work of the Chester Foundation, please click here.

$25 or greater – Honoring River!

Thanks to photographer Dr. Nicole McArthur for these touching portraits of River, Steve, and Dr JT Vida’s team at VISTA Veterinary.

Share this message and help save a life!
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Stumbleupon Email


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Holly Adams

    Hi there,

    I assume someone has provided this man a collar and leash for his dog, but if not I’d love to make him one. I make leather collars and leashes and would love to get him a nice heavy duty collar and leash that will last them for quite some time. Please let me know!



    • Dr. Jim Young

      Holly, thank you so much for your offer to help. Mr Anthony has been so appreciative of all the support and certainly sure he would graciously accept your gift!

  2. Kerrina Bradley

    Did he get a wagon? I have a big one he can have. Also, has anyone looked into getting him on SSI? If he has terminal cancer he shouldn’t have a problem getting it.

    • Dr. Jim Young

      Dear Kerrina,

      Mr Anthony did receive the wagon requested. And we appreciate you suggestion of exploring social services. With your other question concerning his clothing sizes, do not have exact sizing small size for pants and medium coat/shirt size – hope that is helpful

  3. Larina Bridenstine

    So glad there are awesome people in this world today…so glad river and his owner are warm tonight. may god watch over both of them and his angel who came to the rescue!

  4. Debby Bay

    I cannot afford to send money right now, but I am reposting on FB to help this man and his baby. I am praying that everything these two need to live ut their lives is soon found for them. If I get any extra money, I am giving it here so these two can heal and rest in warmth. God Bless, heal well, and stay warm!

  5. John Wrightington

    you just made my Christmas, I hope what little I can give will help in the recovery

    • Dr. Jim Young

      This is truly a wonderful story and fitting for expressing the holiday spirit. I am certain that River and Steve are most appreciative of your thoughts.

  6. Janice

    What does he need. Blankets, dog supplies, etc

    • admin

      Thanks for asking! We will ask Steve if he has a wish list (beyond recovery for River, a job and a place to live!) Because of all the generous donations as a result of Jennifer’s kindness, the Chester Foundation has been able to house Steve and River while working with local agencies to find something more permanent. A Merry Christmas indeed!

  7. Piper

    What are some of their immediate needs? Dog bed, blankets etc? I am happy to do a wish list drive for them at work and with neighbors

    • admin

      Piper – thanks so much for your offer! I know that Steve and River would very much appreciate receiving such items. We have asked him for a wish list and will post it on this page as soon as we have it. Steve is getting one of his wishes – today River will be released from the hospital, and because of the generosity of the many people who have been following his story, he has a temporary place to stay to begin the long process of healing!

  8. Ronna

    You should have him start an amazon wish list (and add a address items can be shipped). I would love to donate that way!

    • admin

      We will look into that! Great idea. Steve has asked however that new donations be made through the Chester Foundation to help other pets in crisis. He is overwhelmed with all of the support he has received and is truly grateful!

    • lisa taylor-austin

      I think Amazon is an excellent idea.

      • admin

        Dear Lisa,

        We will be in contact with Steve as he brings River in for follow-up appointments. We will certainly let him know that you and others stand ready to provide additional support. Also know that donations that were brought into the Atlantic Street location were given to Steve. He is very appreciative of the generosity, from kids with their allowance money, to offers to join families for dinner on Christmas Day.

  9. Nahal

    Is there a way we can directly donate to Steve & River? I wanted to donate in order for him to have after his temporary housing is over. Thank you all for your kindness and all you do! Also thank you to Miss Jennifer Martin.

    • admin

      Steve is so grateful for the generosity shown to him and to River. We will keep everyone updated if there is anything else they need, but for now, Steve has asked that all future donations go to the Chester Foundation. Steve and River have a place to stay during River’s recovery – thanks to generous donations to the Foundation – and we have asked Loaves and Fishes to reach out to Steve to discuss options for the future.

  10. lisa taylor-austin

    I am so thankful to Mrs. Martin and the vet staff who helped River. I would like to donate directly to River’s “dad” for something he needs. How can I do that?

  11. Miko

    Can anybody tell me where to find them? I am willing to let them stay w/ us.
    They need a place to stay…,,.

    • admin

      Dear Miko,

      Thank you for your comment on Your offer is very generous, and you will be relieved to know that Steve and River have a place to stay throughout River’s recovery (8-10 weeks) thanks to generous donors to the Chester Foundation. We have also contacted local organizations that can help the homeless get on track to have a place of their own. They have promised to reach out to Steve to let him know his options. Thanks again!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>