‘Shot multiple times': NYC rescue teaching South Texas puppy to walk again

Rescue Dogs Rock NYC giving 4-month-old puppy a second chance in life

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - A South Texas puppy is getting a second chance at her young life in New York City after it was discovered she was shot multiple times, causing her to be paralyzed.

The 4-month-old puppy named Ava was taken in by New York City-based Rescue Dogs Rock NYC following a Facebook post that shared with them.

 The post read: “Found this puppy laying down on the street crying. She can’t stand up on all legs (and) I think she’s dehydrated or weak. I don’t have money to take her to the vet (but) I gave her food and water. She needs help. Looking for somebody to take her. I have pit bulls at home and I don’t want them around her. (I’ve) already gave her Pedialyte. She’s free.”

Co-founder of Rescue Dogs NYC Stacey Silverstein told KSAT.com that one of its page's followers alerted it to the post since it's connected with the area and takes in lot of dogs from the South Texas and San Antonio region. 

“We are a medical rescue. We focus on dogs with medical issues and traumatic injuries, so we agreed to take her (Ava),” Silverstein told KSAT.com.

After taking Ava to a vet nearby in Harlingen, that’s when it was revealed through X-rays she was shot with a gun several times.

“One of the bullets was wedged into her third and fourth vertebrae, and that’s what caused the paralysis. So we had her immediately brought up to New York and she went directly to our specialty hospital in Huntington, New York,” Silverstein said.

Following several more X-rays and diagnostics, Ava began her intensive physical therapy, twice a day beginning on Feb. 5, to help her learn how to walk again and recover from her injuries. 

Despite being completely paralyzed when they first got her, the shepherd-labrador mix puppy has come a long way in just a matter of days, Silverstein said.

“She just started walking a little bit, a little bit more and now she’s doing much, much better,” Silverstein told KSAT.com. “She still has a long way to go, but I think she’s going to be a success story for sure.”

“I think it’s terrible that she was shot at 4 months old. I mean, how do you shoot a living being? How do you shoot a little puppy; a little baby?” Silverstein said. 

Silverstein told KSAT.com people with her rescue initially thought they were going to have to do surgery, and they brought her immediately to New York because of where the bullet was lodged in Ava’s body.

But after several successful physical therapy sessions, Silverstein said it looks like surgery will not be necessary after all. 

“She’s definitely going to walk again. She might have impairment on her front paw or leg. We don’t know what the future holds. But it’s definitely a lot better than it was a month ago,” she said.

Ava will be up for adoption in the near future within a five-to-six-hour radius of New York City.

The adoption will include a strict screening process for the potential owner, Silverstein told KSAT.com.

Silverstein said Ava’s case is a miracle but not one of the worst the rescue has received.

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Working with 25 states across the nation, the Rescue Dogs Rock NYC exists solely on donations and fundraising.

To learn more about how to help in its effort, click here

To visit its website, click here.

SAN ANTONIO STORY IDEAS & TIPS, EMAIL: agarcia@ksat.com

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