By Michele DeLuca
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — NIAGARA FALLS — Thankfully, they did not find the puppy in the garbage can, as initial reports on Thursday had claimed.
But, it appeared the little 8-week old pit bull has not been treated kindly by humans ... until she was discovered by two sanitation workers in Niagara Falls Wednesday morning who likely changed her fate with their compassion.
For now, she has been dubbed Gladys, and she was found on a chilly, 42 degree day in a Niagara Falls alley between 29th and 30th streets by Lyle Rounds and Jim Fisher of Modern Corp. Rounds had just dumped two cans in the back of his truck and saw the puppy, curled in a fetal position on the ground, when he went to set down the cans. Rounds said he stared at her for a moment in shock. Her jaw had been knocked out of alignment and her face was misshapen.
He quickly alerted his partner, Fisher, who used his jacket to hold and warm the puppy.
“She was all mangled up,” said Fisher, who quickly alerted his boss. “But she curled right into my arms and started licking my face.” The police arrived on the scene and took the dog to the SPCA. The two workers went on with their rounds, but not before Fisher sent a photo of the puppy to his daughter. She got busy Facebooking the photo and it pretty quickly made the social media rounds, propelled by local animal lovers.
“By the time I got home from work I saw the photo on TV,” Fisher laughed.
Amy Lewis, director of the SPCA of Niagara, said the Internet buzz helped to raise the $2,000 for the puppy’s much-needed surgery by a vet dental specialist in Cheektowaga who put her jaw back into place.
X-rays taken at the vet confirmed that the damage to the puppy’s jaw was likely inflicted by a human through a hit or a kick, Lewis said.
The puppy is touching hearts all over the region, her open trusting face the source of much comment on the Internet. There is a fundraising site set up on the SPCA website www.niagaraspca.org to pay for her care and funds above and beyond will go into the SPCA’s general emergency fund. There are no significant leads as to who may have abused the dog, Lewis said, but several people have already inquired about adopting the puppy.
As for the two sanitation workers who took the time to tend to a wounded puppy, there have been more than a few kudos. Lewis visited them at Modern Corp. on Thursday to thank them personally for their efforts. Afterward, TV crew interviewed them about the rescue. And clearly, the top brass at Modern were paying attention to the kindness of their two employees. “They did a great job,” said company spokerperson Steve Toponak. “It’s nice that they were so compassionate.”