Some are calling him lucky, others are saying it is a miracle. Either way, a greyhound dog rescued on the highway began a race to fight for his life on Wednesday, and it looks like he is winning.
After running loose for days on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Fla., a two-year old male greyhound racing dog nicknamed "Freeway" was finally rescued by a Good Samaritan and volunteers from Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions.
The fawn and black greyhound was rushed to the University of Florida animal hospital where veterinarians found cuts and wounds over 80% of his body. They said he was lucky to be alive.
On May 9, Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions rescue volunteer Kendra Stauffer posted an account of what was known at the time about what happened to Freeway on the organization's Facebook page.
"We got a call from Judy Shamp of the Orlando branch about a greyhound running down I-75. Some folks stopped traffic to get the dog and held him until I could get there. He was in shock, had a fever, and was severely dehydrated. He is a 2-year-old fawn male. He still had his racing muzzle on and his kennel collar. I have no idea if he was being hauled and escaped or is loose from a local kennel…"
Since then, Gold Coast Greyhound Adoption volunteers have learned that Freeway was being used for racing and his real name is Petey D. He was being transported between Sarasota and Tallahassee when he and another dog got loose from their carriers on Interstate 75, in Sumter County. The other dog was caught by his owner, but Petey D was left behind.
So far, Petey D has undergone four surgeries to repair the injuries he suffered while running loose. Doctors say he is facing yet another operation, scheduled for May 18, to help his healing.
"Hopefully it's his last surgery," Kendra said in a recent Facebook post, adding that Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions was grateful for all the prayers, donations and public support for Petey D on his costly road to recovery.
Petey D's medical bills are now expected to reach $8,000. And according to an WCJB-TV News report on Thursday, Petey D was initially discharged from the animal hospital early, "because no one could pay his bill."
For those who ever doubted that people can make a difference, they need not look any further for proof than the story of Petey D. This tragedy has brought together a multitude of people from different countries and all walks of life, all with the single purpose of saving the life of one dog. That, in this day and age, is a miracle in itself.
For Petey D, the fight for his life has brought him to a road to recovery, and soon, this "miracle dog" will hopefully go on to adoption in a new, loving, forever home.
People can make a difference.
If you would like to make a donation towards Petey D's medical expenses and care, visit Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions, a registered 501-c3 non-profit organization.
Video: Click here to watch the WCJB-TV ABC News report on Petey D, "Miracle Greyhound."
Log into your Facebook account and Click here to see photos of Freeway: WARNING some images may be disturbing to some people.