EAST PROVIDENCE — So far the staff at the East Providence Animal Control Center has avoided referring to the female Bichon Poodle mix currently recuperating there by the cliched moniker of “Lucky,” but there’s no question she is the most fortunate of canines.
After getting caught in the front-end of a car, the white, five-to-seven-old dog, survived a harrowing, 11-mile ride down Route 44 from Taunton to East Providence some 10 days ago.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever seen anything like this,” said a still-amazed East Providence Animal Control Officer Will Muggle. “Considering the speed the driver said he was going and the distance he traveled, for her to survive is definitely a miracle.”
Events unfolded about this way.
A motorist driving a late-model Toyota Camry at or around the posted speed limit, 50 miles per hour, said he saw the dog darting out across the busy highway near Segregansett Country Club as he was heading to work one day, but had little time to react. Unaware that he had made contact with the canine, he jammed on his brakes to stop his car, surveyed the area and wishfully assumed the dog had run off.
Instead, it was stuck in the recessed air in-take section of the nose just below the car’s front grill. Wedged there and between the car’s bent license plate frame, she hung on for dear life the rest of the way.
“It was difficult to get her out of there,” Officer Muggle, EPACC supervisor, said. “Not only because of how she was stuck in there, but because she was grabbing on pretty tight.”
It wasn’t until the driver came to a halt at the stop light at the intersection of Route 44 West and Pawtucket Avenue just passed the Seekonk-East Providence line was he made aware of what had transpired.
A driver of another car alerted the Toyota operator of what he had stuck in the nose of the vehicle. He immediately drove to the East Providence Police station located a couple hundreds yards away on Waterman Avenue.
Once there, Officer Muggle was summoned to the scene where he led the effort to extract the dog from its precarious predicament.
“The driver of the car was pretty shaken up about the whole thing,” Officer Muggle added. “He was very upset about it. He came back the next day to check on her to make sure she was alright.”
When freed, the obviously-jolted canine was first transported to the East Bay Animal Hospital located nearby in Seekonk on Fall River Avenue. Stabilized there, she was rushed off to the Bay State Animal Hospital on Route 6 in Swansea for further tests.
She had a “nasty” concussion, according to Officer Muggle, a small cut above an eye and a slight tear in her intestine, but other than that was eventually released back into the EPACC’s care quite fortunately unscathed. She has gone through a prescribed dosage of pain medicine and antibiotics and is pretty much back to full health, very active and extremely lovable.
The search for the owner of the dog is well underway, Officer Muggle said.
She has a distinctive collar, but no tags. She also has an electronic tracking device implanted under her skin, but it, too, led nowhere. Officer Muggle said he was able to trace the device to a location in Kentucky. However, it was not registered by either the breeder or the owner. Officer Muggle said it’s likely the dog came from a so-called “Puppy Mill.”
Usually, the EPACC attempts to track down owners for a period of about six days, but due to the unusual circumstances has extended the deadline. If no owner is found likely by the end of the week, the dog will be put up for adoption following the usual procedures.
Anyone with information about the dog’s owner or who may want to adopt her at some point can contact the EPACC at 401-435-7675 or 401-435-7676.
(UPDATED, Oct. 2, 10:15 p.m.) Multiple local television stations are reporting the owner of the Bichon Poodle has been found and her name is “Susie.” The owners of the dog attempted to find her, but thought the worst. They only realized what had happened to their pup after seeing a report on one of the aforementioned stations.