BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The 6-month-old female pit bull, rescued Wednesday afternoon from the cold, remains in critical condition at the Erie County SPCA. The dog has been named Metro, after the Rural Metro ambulance crew that saved her life.
The dog is responding to food and there is hope she will survive. The Erie County SPCA has launched an investigation, trying to track down Metro's owner and determine why the animal was allowed to starve.
"She's eating, which is good, but she's still in a critical window. We still can't be sure," said Dr. Helen Chevalier.
Metro's life was saved by a startled Rural Metro crew that happened to see the emaciated puppy abandoned in the parking lot of an east side animal clinic that was closed for the day.
EMT Norine Hoch said, "All a sudden she started saying, 'Oh my God! Oh my God!' We looked and there was a baby puppy just laying in the driveway."
Only the custodian was inside Anderson's Inner City Animal Hospital. He had just received calls that an animal was being abandoned. Clement Gordon immediately called the SPCA as the ambulance crew sought help for the puppy.
"Rural Metro is out here banging on the door, so I'm trying to talk to them while I'm talking to the SPCA. I told them there is no doctor here and I was just doing janitorial work," Gordon said.
Metro was taken to the SPCA by Rural Metro personnel, who wrapped the puppy in blankets, sheets and hot packs. The SPCA says her body temperature was close to 10 degrees lower than it should have been. Now the SPCA is trying to track down her owner.
Erie County SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr said, "There's no question that cruelty was involved here. I think we can reasonably say that this is a case of starvation."
Carr says her investigators are following leads, but the focus is not on the animal hospital. Rather, the owner of the puppy who abandoned her is being sought.
Dr. Hector Anderson, who runs the clinic, says his hospital has been receiving nasty calls and even threats. But the hospital was closed Wednesday and the SPCA says blame should not be placed there.
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