Stray dog hit by car bounces back - with some help

Posted: August 17, 2009

Philadelphia's dog lovers have a reason to smile.

With perked ears and eager eyes, Miss Mickey, a 20-pound Australian Cattle Dog, can run, jump and even catch a ball.

It wasn't always that way.

On March 13, the white and brown stray was following a family across Washington Street in South Philadelphia when she was hit by a car. She was saved by the quick actions of three police officers who rushed her to the Pennsylvania SPCA on Erie Avenue.

Yesterday, Miss Mickey and her "foster parent" from the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association dropped by the Third District Police Station at 11th and Wharton Streets with a $150 donation to the city's Fallen Officers Fund on the dog's behalf. Officers Brian Karpinski, Jason Rush and Melissa Kromchad accepted the gift, with appreciative pats for Miss Mickey.

"Last time I saw her," Rush said, "she didn't look anything like that."

Her survival was a surprise to everyone at the accident scene.

"I screamed," said South Street merchant Tony Fisher, who saw it happen. "I just assumed she was going to die right there."

The driver stopped, and tried to help by wrapping the dog in old clothing in his car. Rather than wait for an animal rescue group to arrive, the officers put her in a patrol wagon and sped to the SPCA, where veterinarians found her pelvis had been crushed.

After a week of treatment there, Miss Mickey, thought to be about 6 years old, was tranferred to Valley Central Veterinary Referral Center in the Lehigh Valley. There, metal plates were implanted in her pelvis. Such reconstruction would usually cost $10,000, but the surgeon discounted his bill to $1,800.

Back in South Philadelphia, Fisher returned to his store, the eco-friendly Big Green Earth, and started soliciting donations from his customers via email for the dog he named Miss Mickey.

"Our customers are pretty much animal lovers," he said.

Fisher and Marianne Ahern, who volunteered to foster Miss Mickey, also used Facebook to get the word out about her condition. One of Fisher's customers even sold some of his origional artwork on eBay to raise money. Donations, he said, came from as far away as Florida and California.

The campaign brought in $4,000, enough for the dog's medical expenses - and the donation to the Fallen Officers Fund.

"She has had a lot of people reach out and try to help her," Fisher said.

Ahern said Miss Mickey is fully recovered from her injuries - and up for adoption.

"She likes to play fetch," Ahern said. "She likes tennis balls, but she doesn't mind an occasional stick."

For information on adopting Miss Mickey, visit the website of the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association at www.acdra.org.


Contact staff writer Naomi Nix at 215-854-2797 or nnix@phillynews.com.

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