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Howls of fury echoed across Red Hook after news got out that a 19-year-old had hurled his big doe-eyed dog off the roof of his apartment building back in June.
But snarls of outrage quickly turned to cheers when it was learned that, thanks to a miracle and a few precipitously placed air conditioners, the dog managed to survive the six-story fall.
ASPCA officials said Oreo’s legs were left shattered, and the one-year-old Terrier mix was bleeding internally, but she is on the mend.
“She’s showing a lot of resilience,” Joseph Pentangelo, Assistant Director of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) unit. “She’s eating on her own, she’s standing and she’s walking. But it is a long road ahead.”
Also looking down a long road -- one that leads to prison -- is Oreo’s owner Fabian Henderson, who is currently facing charges of aggravated cruelty to animals for the June 18 cold-blooded act.
If convicted, Henderson could face up to two years in jail.
Officials said that Henderson first beat the dog in his West 9th Street apartment, which is part of the Red Hook Houses, and then brought Oreo up to the roof to finish the job.
Concerned neighbors immediately called out for help.
“The ASPCA initially received a complaint that an animal was being beaten where Henderson lives with his family,” Pentangelo said. “A few minutes later, HLE received two more calls from people reporting a dog had been thrown off the roof.”
Oreo reportedly bounced off several air conditioners on his way down -- a twist of fate that many believed saved the pooch’s life.
When cops arrived at the scene, Oreo was found lying on the ground. She was not moving... but she was alive.
“We couldn’t believe the dog survived the six-story fall,” says HLE Special Agent Peter Rivas. “We immediately took her to the nearest animal clinic, where she received emergency care.”
At Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, it was learned that she sustained factures to both her front legs and suffered several skin infections to her stomach and armpit.
As soon as she was stabilized, veterinarians treated her shattered legs, bruised lungs and severe internal bleeding. Surgery was also performed to reconstruct her front legs, using plates and screws, officials said.
Prosecutors said that a grand jury was empaneled to hear the evidence against Henderson, who also faces charges of reckless endangerment and criminal trespass for bringing the dog to the roof in the first place.
According to published reports, Henderson, who was being held on $50,000 bail, denied throwing the dog off the roof. He then claimed that the dog jumped, officials said.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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