CROWN HEIGHTS — A 2-year-old shih tzu is recovering at a Brooklyn animal hospital after she was found close to death “in the garbage” last week, her rescuers said.
Phoenix the dog was found March 16 on Bergen Street between Revere Place and Albany Avenue in Crown Heights by a caller to the Sean Casey Animal Rescue who reported finding the young pup in the trash, SCAR’s founder Sean Casey said.
“They said ‘There’s a dog in the garbage. It’s alive, but barely,’” he said.
Local police took the dog to an Animal Care & Control facility in East New York, according to the 77th Precinct. She was later transferred to the Pet Haven Animal Hospital in Kensington to receive specialized care, Casey said.
She was “completely lifeless,” emaciated and unresponsive when she arrived to the clinic, he said, with cuts on her leg, shallow breathing and feces with the “consistency of dirt.”
“I’m thinking that’s probably what she was eating to try to fill her belly,” he said.
He and his colleagues debated how to help — or if they should try.
“It’s the same conversation, unfortunately, we have when we get a dog like this … Are we torturing her trying to save her or are we really giving her a shot?” he said.
But they went for it, he said, and after she was given fluids intravenously, a warming blanket and a bit of food, Phoenix started “looking like a dog that might live.”
“She’s doing a lot better now, but she’s far from out of the woods,” he said, adding that she is still too weak to stand up on her own.
In a video posted by SCAR on Monday, Phoenix is seen shakily lifting her head from under a pink blanket inside her crate at the animal hospital.
Casey estimates it will take about two months of medical care and physical therapy for her to be ready for adoption. For now, he’s just happy she got the emergency help she needed.
“I’m surprised she even made it to the hospital for treatment. It was that bad,” he said.
No suspects have been identified in the incident, police said.
To learn more about Phoenix and her recovery, visit the SCAR Facebook page.