Local News

Stranger raises $10,000 for man, dog hit by car

Posted December 21, 2015 5:12 p.m. EST
Updated December 21, 2015 6:31 p.m. EST

— There are a lot of random acts of kindness this time of year – it's part of what the holiday season is about.

But a Raleigh woman has gone above and beyond in the last few days for an injured man and his dog.

Last Wednesday, Kunal Chablani and his dog, Tony, were walking across Hillsborough Street when they were hit by a car.

Francine Cronin came across the scene on her way to work.

She saw that, while paramedics were trying to help Chablani, he was dragging himself over to his badly injured dog to try to help it.

She didn't know Chablani, but she said it broke her heart.

"I'm an animal lover," Cronin said. "I have a dog, and I thought, if I was in that exact same situation, my concern would be for my dog as well. I just looked at him, and I told him, 'I will watch out for your dog and don't worry about the vet bills.'"

Tony's bill will be well over $10,000 – a lot more than Cronin had expected.

But she refused to back out of the deal. Cronin set up an online fundraising page that's brought in about $10,000 so far from roughly 300 donors.

She said she's humbled by people's generosity.

Both Chabloni and Tony are on the mend. Chabloni is banged up but not seriously injured. Tony will have a long road to recovery – he had a broken pelvis and a badly broken leg.

Cronin said the heroes in the story are the people who have stepped up to donate.

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Nancy Petty was at the scene, too, and has been helping Cronin raise money. She said Cronin is a great example of what the holiday season is really about.

"When everyone says you’re the hero, I’m like there’s almost 300 heroes out there," Cronin said.

But, Petty said, Cronin is the hero who made it all happen because she had the courage to take a risk to help a man and a dog she’d never met.

"That’s a rare person," Petty said. "But it’s a person who can inspire the rest of us. The next time we’re in one of those situations, what do we want to do? She’s made us believe that we can do amazing things."