Hero Dog Lilly Leaves Angell Animal Medical Center

May 12, 2012

BOSTON, May 12, 2012 – Against the backdrop of a worldwide news cycle praising the bravery she showed last week in pulling her unconscious owner away from an oncoming train, 8-year-old Pit Bull Lilly was discharged from Angell Animal Medical Center today to continue her recovery at home.  Doctors at Angell’s 24/7 Emergency Critical Care unit pronounced her stable enough to leave the hospital after she had undergone two major surgeries: one to amputate her front right leg and another to repair her badly fractured pelvis and left hind leg.


Lilly’s road to recovery is far from over.  She will require extensive physical therapy to adjust to life as a three-legged dog.  Still, the courage she has demonstrated throughout her ordeal—coupled with the love and support of the family so eager to have her back—makes everyone involved in her care confident she will return to her former self.  Said Dr. Meg Whelan, who has been part of the team overseeing her care, “We’ve been very pleased with the progress Lilly’s made.  She’s been an ideal patient and, while she has a lot of therapy ahead of her to return to full strength, we are hopeful she’ll get there.”

 Surrounded by family, fans and the news media, Lilly makes her way out of Angell Animal Medical Center (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Contributions for Lilly Pour In

As of today Angell has received just over $76,000 in donations to its Pet Care Assistance program, which helps support families such as Lilly’s and helps pay medical costs for homeless animals in the MSPCA’s Adoption Centers, as well as for animals who arrive at the MSPCA as a result of cruelty cases.  Lilly’s entire hospital bill has been covered, and her legacy will live on in the lives of all the animals her story will help in the future. 


Last year the MSPCA provided over $850,000 in free care for animals who otherwise would not have received treatment.


Aside from monetary donations people and companies around the world have leapt to Lilly’s aid.  The staff at Angell has been flooded with offers of food, nutritional supplements and free physical therapy for the dog who has single-handedly changed the public narrative about Pit Bulls—dogs that have been unfairly stereotyped as innately violent.


Breaking: Lilly Wins the 2012 Animal Hero Award

Every October the MSPCA bestows special awards on deserving animals and people who have done extraordinary things.  Lilly is the MSPCA’s unanimous choice for the organization’s 2012 Animal Hero Award, which will presented at the annual Hall of Fame dinner on Oct. 25 at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.  The MSPCA looks forward to celebrating Lilly’s heroism and having her (and her family) join hundreds of animal lovers who gather for the annual event.


Lilly’s ordeal began just after midnight on May 3 when she was struck by a westward-bound freight train while pulling her unconscious owner away from the tracks in Shirley, Mass.  The train’s wheels sliced through her right foot, fractured her pelvis in multiple locations and caused other internal injuries.  She was raced to Angell where veterinarians have been tending to her care for the past week.




Angell Animal Medical Center cares for more than 50,000 animals a year and is one of the most acclaimed veterinary practices in the country. Angell has 67 doctors and an experienced support staff who work as a team to ensure high quality general wellness, emergency and specialty care. With 31 board-certified specialists and technology that includes an MRI specifically designed for animals, Angell is committed to providing a broad range of specialized expertise and experience, but delivers this care with one-on-one compassion that animals and their owners deserve. Angell is open for emergencies 24 hours of every day of the year, and offers night and weekend appointments with our specialty services.