December 11, 2013
BOSTON, Dec. 11, 2013 – A Dorchester man is in the hospital while his canine companion awaits surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center after both were struck and injured by a car while crossing Neponset Avenue in Dorchester on Nov. 25, the MSPCA-Angell announced today. The man, John Miles, was taking the same four-mile walk he had taken for forty years along with his son’s eight-year-old beagle-mix “Lucy,” who for the last eight years has accompanied him almost every day.
According to the Boston Police Dept. both John and Lucy were struck and injured by a northbound car traveling at high speed. John suffered two broken legs, a broken arm and multiple facial fractures. Despite having also been struck by the car Lucy limped to a nearby dentist’s office, barking madly to summon help. By the time the police and animal control officer arrived Lucy had braced herself against the nearly unconscious John, refusing to leave his side even as he was lifted into the ambulance.
Because John had no identification with him the police used the address and phone number on Lucy’s ID tags to locate their home, which was less than a quarter mile from the scene. Lucy was brought to the home to stay with John’s daughter-in-law, Caitlin, while John was taken to the hospital.
“Seeing Lucy whine in John’s study was heartbreaking as I know she was thinking about the accident and worried for him,” Caitlin said later. “Moreover, our initial belief that her injury was superficial proved wrong when she stopped bearing weight on her rear right leg—I knew she had to get to the vet right away.”
|Lucy visits a seriously injured John in the hospital after the accident (credit: MSPCA-Angell)|
Still awaiting news on her father-in-law’s condition, Caitlin rushed Lucy to Angell’s Emergency and Critical Care Unit where veterinarians administered pain medicine and reviewed x-rays to determine the full scope of her injuries. The examination and x-rays revealed that Lucy had torn a ligament in her knee—and surgery would be required to repair her damaged leg.
Said Caitlin after hearing the diagnosis, “This is obviously a terribly sad and worrying time for our family—with my father-in-law facing surgery and months of rehab and our much-loved dog, a hero to all of us, also requiring extensive veterinary care. We’ll do whatever it takes to get her well, of course, as she is everything to us.”
Donations Sought to Offset Lucy’s Care
Lucy’s surgery will cost upwards of $5,000 and the MSPCA-Angell is raising money for its Pet Care Assistance program, which in part is used to provide financial aid to families whose animals need emergency, intermediate and critical care at Angell. During December the MSPCA raises money for Pet Care Assistance through its Holiday Tree fundraising campaign. Readers who would like to donate to help Lucy and animals like her can click here.
Lucy’s surgery is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 13. After surgery she may also require physical therapy and ongoing treatment to improve her outcome post-operatively. Said Dr. Meghan Sullivan, who will conduct the operation on Lucy’s leg: “Lucy reminds us all of the important role animals play in our lives. She’s a true hero to John and her family and to all of us. We won’t rest until she’s back to her active self, enjoying long walks with her family once again.”
For more information about Angell Animal Medical Center’s Emergency and Critical Care Services click here.
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.