Your Donations Saved River!

Donors from across the nation were inspired to help this injured dog and his human companion!

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 to repair his fractured pelvis.  Donations made it possible to not only cover River’s surgical procedure, but also temporary housing.   It was essential that River recovered in a confined space 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


sage7Recently, Steve had an opportunity to Pay It Forward, working with the Lions Club of Forestville to put on a pancake breakfast fundraiser for a little girl named Sage who was in need of a service dog to protect her from serious nut allergies.  Read more about Sage and her future pal Peppermint Patty.  Please help her raise the funds she needs to bring this dog into her life.

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.