Injured dog saved from Belmont Park

January 21, 2009 3:30:11 PM PST
Animal rescuers spent two months trying to track down a dog at Belmont Racetrack. The pup was seriously injured and desperately in need of veterinary care.Horse trainers Kay Phillips and Maria Marrone eventually caught up and took dog they call Belle to North Shore Animal League, where it was nursed back to health.

Now they're hoping for one more break to bring this story to a really happy end.

After three weeks of love and care at North Shore, the 5-year-old mutt is domesticated once again and ready for a reunion with her previous owner, who may not know she's alive.

It was late last year when a security guard at Belmont Park saw the dog get hit by a car on Hempstead Turnpike. It then scurried on to the grounds. It stayed in the infield and survived.

For two months, Phillips tried repeatedly to catch Belle, named after the track. She left food, put out water, even brought her own dogs. She had no luck, at first.

"Eventually, with a humane trap," Phillips said. "And it took a long time to find a humane trap that was big enough to catch a dog."

"The trap was probably the biggest thing I've ever seen," said Mike Malloy, of the Animal League. "You could have put a mountain lion in it. They backed it in and loaded it into our garage, and we were able to get her out of the trap."

But Malloy said Belle was in survival mode. She wanted nothing to do with people. She arrived under-nourished. Veterinarians saw no signs of a car accident, but they did find evidence that someone had cared for her.

"She also seemed to have a spay scar, indicating someone had taken the time to have her fixed in the past," the League's Dan Rubenstein said.

So if Belle's original owners are reading, she is waiting for you at the Animal League. If no one claims Belle, she will be put up for adoption.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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