Dog Tale With Two Happy Endings

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Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino holds up “Steve,” a Yorkie mix who was found by a jogger in Plainview on Feb. 7 and was adopted from the town’s animal shelter on Feb. 16.

Yorkie finds new home

On Feb. 16, a dog who had faced certain death was adopted and welcomed by his new family, completing a fairy tale ending to what could have been a deadly outcome.
The “Sherpa” animal carrier in which the 3-year-old male Yorkshire terrier mix was found could have served as his makeshift coffin.

A jogger heard the dog’s barks while out for an after-dark run on Washington Street in Plainview on Feb. 7, found the pup and called 911. Police responded and took the canine to Long Island Veterinary Specialists in Plainview, a 24/7 emergency care hospital for pets.

Next morning, the hospital called the Town of Oyster Bay Animal Shelter to pick up the dog, which according to a press release showed no signs of neglect or abuse. Shelter employees cleaned and groomed him and named their latest resident “Steve.”

They also contacted the Nassau County SPCA, which on Feb. 13 offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever left the dog out on a cold night, with a blizzard approaching two days hence.

Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino held a press conference at the shelter on Feb. 13 to introduce the dog to the media. Also on hand was Gary Rogers, a detective with the SPCA.
Saladino described Steve as “in good shape, very healthy, well-fed and well-groomed…and filled with love at Valentine time.”

“But,” Saladino went on, “it’s very important to find out who the owner is. Because we want to know just what happened. Was Steve lost? Was he stolen? Or was he abandoned?… if he was abandoned, we need to bring these people to justice.”

Rogers held up the bag in which Steve was found and declared that “it’s a very serious issue when someone leaves a little dog like this in a bag like that. There’s no way he would have gotten out, and if it wasn’t for the jogger…with the storm that went by, he would have died.”

Animal cruelty, he noted, was a misdemeanor that carried a fine of up to $500 and a term of up to one year in jail.

Seeing how splendidly Steve and Saladino were getting along, Rogers stated, “He really needs a nice home. I’m sure the supervisor…” and turning to Saladino he asked, “Do you have a dog?”

“I don’t, but this is fitting pretty well,” Saladino rejoined.

Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr., who overseas dog licensing, said, “It’s always nice to have a good story at the end of such an unfortunate situation, and we’re glad that Steve is safe. Maybe our supervisor will adopt him—and maybe not—[but] he will find a good home.”

Three days later, Steve experienced what every abandoned animal in the shelter hopes for: the chance to be part of a family. As of press time, no details were available on the adoption.

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Frank Rizzo is a journalist at Anton Media Group. With decades of experience in the industry, he is exceptionally equipped to cover local politics, business and other topics that matter to readers.

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