Strangers Drop $1,000 After Hearing About Christina Summitt's Sick Dog

CLIFTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — If you have a pet, you know how expensive vet bills can be, especially when there’s an emergency.

As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, one New Jersey bartender was struggling after one of her beloved dogs needed emergency care, when kind strangers tipped her an unbelievable amount of money.

Christina Summitt’s 3-year-old dog Tucker is now recovering from emergency surgery after he swallowed a tennis ball.

Summitt, who works as a bartender in Clifton, N.J. and has two other jobs on top of that, was blown away by the medical bills of about $2,700.

“Even though my dog came first, my head was going how am I going to pay for this?” Summitt said.

Last Saturday night, Summitt was bartending at the Holiday Inn when a couple walked in and ordered a few drinks and wings.

They noticed the tattoo on her arm of a dog paw and the name Mona, which is Summitt’s other rescue dog.

“I showed Mona and Tucker and then I shared that my Tucky was really sick and I had been asking everyone for prayers,” she said.

The couple’s bill came out to $80, and the man added a $1,000 tip.

“You know I couldn’t talk. I’m like ‘what is this for, why would you do this?’ He was like ‘you put it towards Tucky’s bill,'” Summitt said. “I ran around the bar like I was crazy. And I hugged him so tight and I hugged his companion and he just leaned back real cool and he’s like ‘we’ll be thinking of Tucker.”

The hotel’s general manager, Michelle Satanik, had to track down the customer to make sure the tip was legitimate.

“He wanted to remain anonymous. He said ‘I don’t want anyone to know who I am,'” Satanik said.

She did find out he has a car dealership in Baton Rouge and likes to make a habit of these random acts of kindness.

“At Christmas time he’ll go to Target and he kind of knows who needs the money and who doesn’t and he and his girlfriend will go and hand $100 bills out,” Satanik said.

He told Summit he can tell when someone’s a good person.

And while he’s not interested in being in the spotlight, he’s hoping the story will encourage others to pay it forward.

Summitt has certainly been paying it forward for years. Along with raising three step children, she volunteers at an animal rescue, and right now her adopted pets include two dogs, two cats, and six chickens.

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