City of Angels throngs to save dog hit in car chase

Donations pour in after dog hit in LA car cha... 01:53

LOS ANGELES - Car chases here have become so common, they don't make the national news. Unless, of course, there is something uncommon about them: What journalists call a man-bites-dog story. Or, in this case, a man-hits-dog-with-van-while-fleeing-police story.

It began as one of those high-speed chases that seemed like all the rest in Southern California. Until, out of nowhere, came a little white dog.

Watch: Police chase leaves dog in critical co... 02:51

It could have been worse, of course; a pedestrian had been in the path of that van moments earlier. But the one-year-old poodle mix, who sought refuge in his owner's bathroom, struck a nerve in a city that otherwise might have just changed the channel.

Gordo is his name, and within minutes he became a trending topic on Twitter. His hashtag, #savethewhitedog, even beat out the Angles winning the American League West.

Cameras were there as Gordo was rushed to the vet, where Dr. Erich Stumpp couldn't believe his eyes.

Gordo, the dog that was hit by a stolen van in South Los Angeles on Wednesday night. CBS Los Angeles

"He's been incredible, I mean, he's handled the injury a whole lot better than I would," Stumpp told CBS News.

Gordo may still lose his hind leg, but he will be going home.

"He's a tough little dog," said Stumpp.

As for that driver, he and his female passenger were finally taken into custody on suspicion of vehicle theft, although few cared about them.

It was Gordo who mattered. Donations to cover what could amount to at least $7,000 in care are pouring into the animal hospital, proof that in this case at least, the City of Angels can live up to its name.