A Ronkonkoma dog-owner is relieved to report her newly adopted dog is on the mend after being struck by a woman in an SUV and allegedly left to fend for itself. The efforts of two area teenagers helped recover the dog in time to get immediate treatment at the local animal hospital.
The incident happened on August 28, when two teenagers from Sachem North High School, Nick Lampitelli and his friend Christian Lozach, said they were walking down Union Avenue in Ronkonkoma and spotted Keiko, a terrier, greyhound mix trailing after them at around 6 p.m.
According to Lampitelli, a junior at North, the dog noticed the boys and attempted to cross the street when an SUV came down the road and struck her.
"The dog screamed and sprinted off," Lampitelli said. "[The driver] pulled over and she opened her window and said 'is that your dog?' I said 'no,' and she said OK, and just kept going."
Neither the boys nor the dog's owner, Sara, notified police, and according to Sara the woman had circled back to offer to take the dog to the vet, but Sara refused her help.
After the SUV initially took off, the boys tracked down Keiko and found Sara, who said she immediately wrapped Keiko in a blanket and carried her a half-mile down the block to Sachem Animal Hospital on Union Avenue.
"When I saw her, [Lampitelli] had her cornered and said she got hit by a car," Sara recalled. "Her feet were bleeding, her sides were scratched up and bleeding. I remember seeing muscle and tendons. I don’t remember seeing any skin. I was pretty hysterical." Sara said Keiko, who has only been with her for less than a week, had escaped over the neighbor's fence.
After immediate treatment at Sachem Animal Hospital, Sara was sent to Veterinary Medical Center in West Islip for more intensive treament. According to Sara, Keiko's hind paws were degloved, meaning the skin was torn off from the ankle bone to the nails, and she suffered a dislocated hip. For her paws, Sara has to wrap them in wet bandages and change them initially every day, but now every four days. Otherwise, the dog will likely survive the ordeal.
"She’ll do well, the skin is regenerating," Sara said. "Right now she’s sitting in front of me."
As for the woman who hit her, neither Lampitelli nor Sara have heard from her. They described her as a blond haired woman in her mid-30s and she was driving a white SUV. However, Sara said she's not pursuing anything further at this point.
"I don’t really know how it happened, but anybody that hurts someone in your family you would not like very much," Sara said. "To me, I would just like her to understand what she did and to be more careful next time."