Halloween was a fairly typical night at the front desk at the Albany police downtown station.
Then two women walked in with a puppy they reported was tossed out of a moving car on Central Avenue. Shaking and scared, the tiny pitbull mix looked to have a severely broken leg.
As the women tried to calm the black pup, desk patrolman Jon-David Hill called animal control.
“They told me they couldn’t do anything for him and would have to put him down,” said Hill.
That wasn’t the answer Hill wanted to hear. He took the frightened puppy to the 24-hour Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital in Latham.
“They made him comfortable for the night and told me that he would need to do surgery the next day,” said Hill.
But when he came back the next morning, the hospital said that the leg injury was an old one. The veterinarian also said the leg couldn’t be surgically repaired.
It would have to be amputated.
“I was told he would have a better quality of life if his leg was amputated,” said Hill. By then, he had named the pup Jack, as in jack-o’-lantern, a nod to the night he was found.
“So they amputated.”
Two weeks later, Jack is settled into his new home with Hill, moving around quite well on his three legs, playing ball and romping with Hill’s sister’s German shepherd mix.
“I think he was abused for a long time,” said Hill. “He’s afraid of most people. But once he gets to know you, he’s all over you. He’s lovable, so friendly.”
He’s a typical puppy, getting into mischief. He chewed open his bottle of pills. Hill rushed him to the vet again, worried he would overdose. The vet forced the puppy to throw up and Jack expelled a corn cob.
The amputation surgery was costly. So far, Hill has racked up an $4,000 bill. His sister Leah created a gofundme site named “Jack’s surgery/amputation fund” to pay for medical bills. The site had collected $800 as of Sunday evening.
The Albany police animal abuse unit is investigating Jack’s case. The women were not able to describe in detail the car or the person who tossed Jack out the window, so Hill is not hopeful they will be found. He is hopeful, however, about Jack’s future.
He said he doesn’t care how many legs the dog has.
“I just want to give him a chance,” Hill said. “He deserves it.”
(h/t Albany Times Union)