Secret Santa saves dog after being hit by car

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BRADENTON--- An anonymous Good Samaritan, or in this case, a secret Santa, has given the best gift of all this year to a little dog named, Bandit. The gift of life.

On Christmas night, Bandit, a poodle mix,  was hit by a car on Tamiami Trail in Bradenton. The driver fled the scene and left Bandit in the middle of the road to die. Moments later, another driver stopped her car, put Bandit inside and rushed to the Veterinary Emergency Center in Bradenton.

"He was essentially comatose when he came in. Initially we thought he wasn't going to make it," said Dr. Ilonka Ambros, with the Veterinary Emergency Center.

Bandit is suffering from internal injuries, severe road rash and various cuts and bruises.

Had it not been for the anonymous Good Samaritan, Bandit would have certainly died.

"It was his lucky day," said Ambros. "It really does renew your faith in humanity just a little bit, when you have someone who is willing on Christmas Day, after a long day with family and everything else, to have the kindness and generosity to help a random and stray dog, is really touching."

Bandit does have a microchip, but to make matters even sadder, his previous owner wants nothing to do with the animal.

Bandit's vet bills will cost hundreds of dollars each day. A fund has been set up to help. If you'd like to contribute, visit:

Or, you can contact the Veterinary Emergency Center at (941) 896-9420

In a few days, Bandit will likely need a medical foster parent who can provide medication and watch over him. Following that, he will have a regular foster parent and then, hopefully a forever family.