Volunteers save day for injured Labrador

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Maybe cats have nine lives, but a mixed breed puppy abandoned and injured in Ironton a few weeks ago has volunteers to thank for his good luck.

The Labrador mix puppy, approximately 2 months old, was run over by a car in the 700 block of South Ninth Street June 3.

“When I got there some people had him at the side of the road and his leg was gone,” Ironton Police Sgt. Beth Rist said. “The bone wasn’t broke but the skin was peeled back. We thought about putting him to sleep but he just looked at us with those eyes.”

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Good Samaritans at the scene wrapped the puppy in a towel. Rist called Alberta Wise, with the Lawrence County Humane Society, and she agreed the organization would help with veterinary costs. Then Rist turned to fellow animal lover Heather Porter, who has volunteered to be a surrogate mom, nurse and chauffeur. She is taking the dog back and forth to Wheelersburg Animal Hospital for medical visits and caring for him in her home until a new, permanent home can be found.

“I’m a sucker,” Porter mused, watching the dog she now calls “Nugget” roll over on his back for a belly rub. “Puppy eyes make me weak. Dogs don’t have a voice so we have to give them a voice.”

Meanwhile the search continues for the driver of the black sport utility vehicle who ran over the dog.

“A lady who saw what happened said the driver stopped and just laughed,” Rist said.

There is no statute of limitations on such crimes. Armed with information, Rist hopes to find the culprit and press charges. Witnesses said the driver was a black male driving a black Toyota Rad 4 SUV. The vehicle had temporary Kentucky tags.

As for Nugget, his leg is healing and Porter would like to find him a new home. Those interested in taking the dog as a pet may call Rist at the police department, 532-2338 or may call Porter at (304) 416-4700.