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Pit Bull Shot by Cop in East Village Has 'Legal Defense' Team

By Serena Solomon | August 31, 2012 10:52am

NEW YORK CITY — The pit bull that miraculously survived after being shot by a police officer in the East Village has a new "legal defense" team that will help rehabilitate the pup and eventually find it a new home.

Star, who was shot after lunging at a cop at the corner or East 14th Street and Second Avenue on August 13, has been transferred into the care of the Queens-based Lexus Project, a nonprofit that provides legal defense for animals in danger of being euthanized at shelters.

The dog had its left eye removed earlier this week as a result of the shooting but is "able to walk, play with toys and eat on her own," according to officials with Animal Care & Control, which nursed Star back to health following the shooting.

Since Star's move, dozens of people have apparently volunteered to adopt the dog, according to the Lexus Project's Facebook page.

"At this time, we are bringing Star north to a friends doggie rehabilitation facility where she can rest and be pampered on until she goes for her behavior assessment," the note read.

The organization thanked the public for "rooting for and caring about Star," and addressed the many who have expressed interest in making the dog their own.

"Since at this time, Star is not going into a home, and there are 1000s of dogs waiting for you to adopt them or they will die, it's time to take a step forward and adopt one of these beautiful pups," the note continued.

It also thanked Animal Care and Control, which is contracted by the city to care for lost and abandoned animals, and provided Star extensive medical treatment.

The police officer shot the pit bull after it charged him when he approached the dog's owner, who was unconscious on the sidewalk at the time. The moment was captured on a graphic amateur video.

Star's owner, reportedly identified as 29-year-old Lech Stankiewicz by the New York Times the Local, never showed up at the agency to reclaim her, officials said. Ownership of the dog was eventually given over to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.

Along with removing Star's eye, the Alliance also gave a more extensive update on Star's injuries.

"Vets also removed some metallic fragments lodged in and around that area," wrote the alliance on its Facebook page. It added Star suffered a broken bone above her eye and has “a significant degree of hearing loss”