The Bronx pooch, who was hit by a stray bullet in a shooting in March, was finally returned to his owners’ home last week – with a “fully healed” leg that was once at risk of amputation, the ASPCA said on Tuesday.
The now 9-month-old mutt, named Bailey, was reunited with his family in the lobby of the ASPCA adoption center on May 19 – after undergoing extensive treatment, including surgeries and several physical therapy sessions, the organization said.
Bailey was with his owner James Wilkerson and twin puppies Pepper outside a housing project in the Bronx around 3:30 a.m. on March 7 when shots rang out and he suddenly started howling, Wilkerson told The Post at the time.
It wasn’t until Wilkerson left the area that he realized Bailey’s fur was bloody – and he went to a nearby police officer for help.
“They shot,” he said at the time. “I don’t know who shot. I don’t know why they shot. I just got my dogs out there.”
Bailey was taken to Animal Medical Center on the Upper East Side, where his owner initially said things weren’t looking good.
“His hip was crushed in so many different places that they might have to amputate the leg,” Wilkerson said. “He will still be my dog.”
At the hospital, Bailey underwent surgery that involved implanting a plate, screws and pin into his thigh, according to the ASPCA.
Shortly after the surgery, Bailey was transferred to the ASPCA Animal Recovery Center, where veterinary staff took care of him.
“The wound was bad,” said Dr. Laura Niestat, a forensic veterinarian with the ASPCA, in a statement. “The projectile penetrated the skin and the underlying soft tissue and bone. Bullets fly at high speed and their force is enormous and can cause serious injury.”
But Bailey’s leg wasn’t amputated — and through twice-daily physical therapy sessions that included treats and constant praise, it was “completely healed,” according to the ASPCA.
Photos released by the ASPCA show the moment the lucky pup was reunited with Wilkerson, his partner Desiree Herring and Pepper, who were not injured.
“They are like our children,” Herring said in a statement. “We love her so much and we’re so happy we’re all back together.”
Wilkerson was initially so shaken by the incident that he asked not to name the housing project where he lives.
He said his two fur babies are mutts, although people have insisted they look like toy cocker spaniels.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/24/nyc-dog-struck-by-stray-bullet-returns-home-after-two-months/ NYC dog hit by stray bullet returns home after two months