Man who recently adopted dogs from animal shelter hospitalized after crash

Posted at 5:48 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 22:03:02-04

Two Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter dogs were given the names of a pair of famous star-crossed lovers.

Romeo and Juliet bonded and the staff desperately wanted to keep them together.

So, when Seth Stewart showed up to the Phoenix location near the 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road during the Empty the Shelter event he became their happily ever after.

Stewart and his girlfriend talked to our cameras back on July 22 and told us how badly he wanted to save the animals — especially Romeo and Juliet.

"We didn't want to split them up," Stewart said. "They seemed like really good dogs."

But Stewart is no longer playing with those dogs like he had planned. He is now hospitalized in a coma.

Kelsey Erno considers Stewart family. Her mother is Stewart's girlfriend.

The pair is now tasked with taking care of the dogs, as well as Stewart who was badly injured in a motorcycle crash on Sunday.

He was heading to his first day of a new promotion with his job at a nearby dairy farm very early when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed.

"We had a monsoon the night prior," Erno explained. "It was stormy. There were a couple of potholes and water...and things like that as you're exiting the community."

White chalk marks are now scattered all throughout the road by investigators as they try to figure out what happened.

They do know Stewart laid on the ground, unconscious, for at least 40 minutes before someone stopped to help him.

But, what makes this family upset with the kind-hearted Stewart: he did not put on his helmet that day. It is still hanging right by the front door of their Litchfield Park home.

"Just seeing what he's going through and then what his family and the rest of us are going through in this room with him... it's just not worth it," Erno said. "Put the helmet on."

Doctors do tell the family it is likely Stewart will wake up. It is just a matter of "when" and just how much brain damage he may have suffered from.

The family did start a GoFundMe page to help cover the expensive costs of his prolonged hospital stay.