Eagle Pass teacher rescues stray dog struck by car

Students send letters, cards to dog that hung around school

A stray dog who was hit by a car in Eagle Pass is getting a second chance.

Debbie, a black Labrador retriever, was treated at South Texas Veterinary Specialists in Stone Oak for more than a month.

On Thursday morning she was released to go home with the man who rescued her after the accident.

Dr. Ronald Zawacki-Maldonado, a teacher at Benavides Heights Elementary, said Debbie was nearly an unofficial mascot at the school.

"Debbie, as everyone knows her, has been part of the campus for about 7 years, ever since she was a puppy," said Zawacki-Maldonado.

Debbie was known for walking kids to and from the school. Many of the children were heartbroken after finding out she had been badly injured.

They sent dozens of letters and handmade cards, which were hung by Debbie's corner in the veterinary clinic.

"I've had some kids actually cry, they want to see her. They hope she's OK," said Zawacki-Maldonado.

He added that some of the staff had looked after Debbie for years by providing food, water and even vaccinations.

Debbie is still recovering from her injuries. She had a dislocated back, several broken bones, and had muscle and skin shredded from one of her legs.

Her veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Israels, said she expects her to make a full recovery, although she may always walk with a limp.

Although it was an unfortunate accident, it was also fortunate because it resulted in Debbie having a place to call home.

"She knows now that probably the worst part is behind her," said Zawacki-Maldonado. "She's probably wondering when I get to see the kids, too."

Debbie's medical bills came out to about $10,000. STVS agreed to cover more than half of the bill.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.

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