By Christie Keith, Special to SF Gate
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
She was a seven-month-old pit bull mix, chocolate brown with a white stripe running down her face. And in June of last year, she was lying on the New York City pavement with broken legs and ribs because the guy who owned her had just thrown her off the roof of his apartment building, six stories up.
She didn’t die that day. A surprising number of neighbors and bystanders called the police, and she was taken in by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty for Animals, a large private shelter in New York City that also does animal cruelty investigations for the city — they’re the “Animal Cops” of Animal Planet fame.
The folks at the ASPCA named her “Oreo,” and they performed orthopedic surgery to repair her broken bones and treated her other serious injuries. She was dubbed “the miracle dog” by the New York media, and for a while it looked like that’s what she was.
She spent around five months in the ASPCA hospital and shelter, undergoing further treatment and rehabilitation. Then in November, the APSCA issued a statement that she was reacting aggressively to people and other dogs and was going to be killed.
At least one organization, the Pets Alive animal sanctuary in Middletown, N.Y., offered to take her in. They hoped that once out of the shelter environment, Oreo’s behavior would change.
It wasn’t an unreasonable hope. Dogs can become “kennel crazy,” a reaction to the confinement, lack of exercise and stress of a shelter or hospital. And Oreo’s physical condition might have been a factor, too. As anyone who’s ever had orthopedic surgery understands, the whole process hurts, and it hurts for months. What did she really know, at that point, except her early life with her abuser and what must have felt a lot like torture ever since?
Click here to find out what happened to Oreo and other incidences