Animal rights supporters have bombarded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals with phone calls and e-mail messages in a frantic last-minute bid to save Oreo, a pit bull that survived being tossed off a roof and is scheduled to be euthanized Friday afternoon.
The entreaties, which ranged from the sorrowful and pleading to the outraged and threatening, included a protest outside the organizationâ€™s headquarters on the Upper East Side and a lobbying effort by an animal sanctuary in the Hudson Valley to take in the dog.
Camile Hankins, director of Win Animal Rights, who has been following the case, said she stayed up all night Thursday trying to spread the word about the decision to â€œexecuteâ€ Oreo, in an effort to win a reprieve. â€œThis is not over,â€ she said. â€œWe canâ€™t allow a dog to be, in our opinion, to be neglected and abused by an animal-protection group.â€
Oreo broke two legs on June 18 when she was tossed from the roof of a six-story apartment building in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn. Her owner, Fabian Henderson, 19, pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court last month to a felony charge of animal cruelty and will be sentenced on Dec. 1.
The A.S.P.C.A., which has been trying to nurse the dog back to health, determined that Oreo was unfit to be around people or other dogs because she was â€œunpredictably aggressive,â€ growling, lunging and trying to bite people who came too close, said Andy Izquierdo, a spokesman. He said that rumors that the dog had already been euthanized were untrue.
â€œThere is anger, which we expected,â€ Mr. Izquierdo said. â€œWe tried to do everything we could for Oreo. We were able to recuperate her physical injuries, but her psychological injuries were such that we couldnâ€™t do anything for her.â€
He added, â€œThe notion that we would do this for any other reason than necessity is disheartening and ludicrous.â€
Officials at Pets Alive, a nonprofit animal sanctuary in Middletown, N.Y., said it received no response to phone calls, e-mail messages and tweets they sent requesting to take in the dog. â€œWeâ€™ve had tremendous success with these types of cases,â€ said Kerry Clair, executive co-director of the sanctuary. â€œAfter all the abuse this dog been through, the solution is not to kill her.â€
Mr. Izquierdo said that the A.S.P.C.A. was planning to respond to the offer from Pets Alive. He said that in addition to a small protest Friday morning, the organization received â€œseveral calls and emailsâ€ about the decision to euthanize Oreo. Pressed he upgraded that to â€œdozens.â€ Pressed further he said, â€œWhen I say dozens, it could be 10 or 20 dozen.â€
â€œIts not abating, thatâ€™s for certain,â€ he added.
Denise Breslin, a former graphic designer who lives on the Upper East Side, said she had personally placed â€œabout 40â€ calls since learning about the decision from an article in The New York Times on Thursday night. She said she believed that A.S.P.C.A. was going out of its way to kill the dog. â€œI love animals and I canâ€™t stand injustice,â€ she said.