When a woman saw a stray Pit Bull on the Parkway East in Monroeville, Pa., yesterday, she did what most animal lovers would do. She pulled over and tried to coax the dog out of danger and into her car.
But the dog got frightened when the woman approached her and ran — right off a 200-foot-high overpass.
The distraught woman flagged down a Woodland Hills EMS (WHEMS) truck.
“We were looking at the distance the dog fell and pretty much thought we were looking at a bad case,” WHEMS Director Frank Mastandrea told CBS Pittsburgh. “But when we got there she was just lying there, whimpering.”
Miraculously, the Pit Bull had survived the fall, but was in bad shape. The WHEMS crew rushed her to the closest animal hospital and paid $720 out of their own pockets for her initial emergency treatment.
The dog, whom the crew named Ophelia, had several broken bones, an injured lung and internal bleeding. A veterinarian estimated the total cost of her care would be more than $8,000, WTAE reported.
Ophelia was wearing a pink collar but had no microchip. The vet said she could stay at the hospital while they tried to find her owner, but the WHEMS crew didn’t want to waste time waiting. They took her to another hospital, Pittsburgh Veterinary Speciality & Emergency Center (PVSEC), where Ophelia was immediately designated a special case.
“Ophelia will remain with the critical care service for the next several days as her life-threatening injuries heal,” Dr. Christine Guenther of PVSEC told WTAE. “She has a lot of injuries and a tough road ahead of her, and we appreciate the outpouring of love and support for her.”
Once Ophelia’s condition stabilizes, she will need surgery on both her front legs.
To help cover the costs, the WHEMS crew created the GoFundMe.com campaign, “Save Ophelia.” In just one day, the campaign surpassed its $10,000 goal. The WHEMS crew said any of the funds that are not used will be donated to an animal shelter.
Ophelia has “a tough road ahead of her, and we appreciate the outpouring of love and support for her,” Dr. Guenther told WTAE.
If Ophelia’s owner doesn’t come forward, members of the WHEMS crew have expressed interest in adopting her.
“When you look into those big, brown eyes of hers and she just looked so sad. The crew just fell in love with her,” crew member Angie Fry, Ophelia’s potential future dog mom, told CBS Pittsburgh.
“We help people, but it’s great when we get an opportunity to help an animal as well.”
Photos via GoFundMe.com