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Deluge of Pleas to Spare Oreo, Dog Thrown Off Roof

Oreo_02By A.G. SulzBerger For The New York Times

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 organization’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 “execute” Oreo, in an effort to win a reprieve. “This is not over,” she said. “We can’t allow a dog to be, in our opinion, to be neglected and abused by an animal-protection group.”

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 “unpredictably aggressive,” 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.

“There is anger, which we expected,” Mr. Izquierdo said. “We tried to do everything we could for Oreo. We were able to recuperate her physical injuries, but her psychological injuries were such that we couldn’t do anything for her.”

He added, “The notion that we would do this for any other reason than necessity is disheartening and ludicrous.”

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. “We’ve had tremendous success with these types of cases,” said Kerry Clair, executive co-director of the sanctuary. “After all the abuse this dog been through, the solution is not to kill her.”

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 “several calls and emails” about the decision to euthanize Oreo. Pressed he upgraded that to “dozens.” Pressed further he said, “When I say dozens, it could be 10 or 20 dozen.”

“Its not abating, that’s for certain,” he added.

Denise Breslin, a former graphic designer who lives on the Upper East Side, said she had personally placed “about 40” 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. “I love animals and I can’t stand injustice,” she said.


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13 years ago

i think they should contact Cesar Millan… maybe he can help Oreo at his Dog Psychology Center in CA… this poor dog!!

13 years ago

i think they should contact Cesar Millan… maybe he can help Oreo at his Dog Psychology Center in CA… this poor dog!!


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