Three weeks ago, Star the pit bull was lying on the street in Manhattan’s East Village, her cries barely heard over the voices of onlookers, who shouted, “Why’d you do that?”
It’s a scene that unfolds in a graphic video: Star is barking and distressed trying to protect her owner, who’s seemingly passed out on the ground. She runs toward a policeman. Then he shoots her.
But Star survived. Now, she’s getting ready to find a new home.
After undergoing surgery Monday to remove her left eye and metal fragments wedged in her skull, Star was transferred Thursday to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a coalition of rescue groups and shelters.
She will remain there until she is well enough to find her new home. “Star had suffered soft tissue, bone, head trauma and eye damage as a result of her wounds,” Richard Gentles, a spokesman for New York’s Animal Care and Control – which took the dog in after the incident – tells PEOPLE.com. “She suffered a significant degree of hearing loss, but her hearing is coming back and the vision in her right eye also seems to be improving.”
These days, Star can walk and play with her toys and even eat on her own, Gentles says. Now under the care of the Alliance, she is rehabilitating at a place “she can rest and recuperate,” Alliance Director of Communications Steve Gruber tells PEOPLE.com. (He could not disclose a specific location.)
Although he says she’s doing well, “she has a lot of healing to do.” Gruber doesn’t know when Star will be put up for adoption.
The man she was trying to protect the day she was shot, identified as Lech Stankiewicz, never reclaimed ownership of Star, reports the New York Times. As for the person who will take home Star now, Gruber says, the Alliance hopes to find “someone who can really understand what she’s been through.”
For those who want to make a contribution to Star’s care, you can donate here.
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