BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A veterinary clinic allegedly did not open its doors for a starving dog, and an alert Rural-Metro ambulance crew came to its aid.
Two Rural-Metro paramedics, assigned to the corner of Kensington and Fillmore Avenues, found an emaciated pit bull, lying on the frigid pavement on Wednesday. The dog was so weak, she couldn't even raise her head.
EMT Norine Hoch said, "As my partner was pulling into the driveway, all of a sudden, she started going, 'Oh my God! Oh my God!' It was, like, 32 degrees outside, and she was skin and bones. If we [had gotten there] seconds later, she would probably would have been frozen to death."
The dog was lying in the parking lot of the Anderson Inner City Animal Hospital. Which is why Hoch says, she's shocked at what happened when they knocked on the hospital door.
"A gentleman came to the door, and he said, 'I know she's there. I called the SPCA. They're on their way.' And slammed the door in our face."
Hoch and her partner wrapped the pit bull in blankets and applied heat packs. Their supervisor drove her in a fly car to the SPCA shelter in Tonawanda.
Field supervisor Michael Arquette said, "It was very heartbreaking to see just how thin, weak, and how cold she was to the touch. They were very saddened, but very happy to see us bring the puppy in, instead of just leaving it there."
This is not the first time Dr. Hector Anderson's clinic has been accused of refusing help for a sick animal abandoned on its doorstep.
In 2009, "Kenny," a malnourished cocker spaniel, lay outside the hospital for over 24 hours before anyone even called the SPCA. Kenny had to be put to sleep three days later, and the SPCA filed a complaint against Dr. Anderson.
When we went to the hospital looking for answers Thursday night, an employee told News 4 the clinic is closed on Wednesdays. She said the man who answered the door is a custodian, who's not authorized to handle animals.
Because of this latest incident, the SPCA Serving Erie County is again investigating the Anderson Inner City Animal Hospital. In fact, the paramedics are going to give statements to investigators Friday morning.
The SPCA says the puppy is very touch-and-go. Vets are still keeping her warm with hot water bottles. They think she's very young, but she is so severely starved, vets say it's impossible to determine her age.
Doctors are doing tests, to see if her internal organs are still functioning. They say it is impossible to tell, at this point, if she'll survive.