LOUISVILLE, Ky. --Spike the tortoise is a beloved member of his community. His slow and steady presence for the last seven and a half years has given his owner, William Duncan, a reason to live. But Spike was run over by a car this week. He is now fighting for his life.
WHAS reports the 130-pound tortoise was run over in the parking lot of his home at Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday.
"The car came in the parking lot and I was about 40 or 50 feet away from Spike. I couldn't get over to him," Duncan said.
The veterinarian who treated him at Shively Animal hospital said his shell was cracked in two places and he suffered "complicated internal injuries."
The vet said tortoises tend to shut down and stop eating after trauma. But Duncan is not ready to give up on his friend.
Duncan is a recovering alcoholic. He said when they met, Spike gave him a new purpose. He has been a constant companion ever since. One of their traditions is to take a six- or seven-block walk through the neighborhood together. It takes them between three and five hours to complete.
"He's been my whole life," Duncan said. "He just - he keeps me grounded. I have a purpose to live, because of Spike."
The vet said Spike's injuries are slowly improving. Duncan, and the rest of the Wayside community, are hoping for a full recovery.