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Monday, Jan 31, 2000County: New Haven
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
Despite several weeks of tender loving care, the dog found in deplorable shape outside Filene's department store died during emergency surgery, city animal control officials said Thursday.
"Filene," as the pit bull mix was called, attracted the attention of media and animal-lovers across the state after officials began looking for the owner who apparently bred her nearly to death then left her in the cold.
Filene died Friday, Animal Control Warden Patricia Liptak said.
"I just felt so bad for her," Liptak said. "Everyone deserves more than two weeks of happiness."
Animal control officials attempted to nurse the dog back to health before she underwent a hysterectomy. Filene was beginning to scamper around, digging her nose in the dog food bags, nuzzling up to caretakers and even trying to chase cats.
'While we had her that two weeks, she was picking up," Liptak said.
But Filene's condition quickly deteriorated late last week, when her temperature dipped below normal and she lost her vigor.
"She started going down hill, and she wasn't eating, drinking, going to the bathroom or anything. The vet didn't feel she'd make it through the surgery," Liptak said.
During Filene's ordeal, the animal shelter received an outpouring of support from the community. After articles ran in New Haven Register, pet lovers called the shelter to learn about the abuse endured by the animal, whose stomach had swollen to the size of a football while her spine jutted from her patchy black coat.
About $700 in contributions was raised for the dog's care, Liptak said. What isn't used to pay for Filene's medical costs will go toward other neglected pets, she said.
"All donations we get go straight to animals because we've always got a need," Lipak said.
Officials said on Thursday the animal shelter just wasn't the same without Filene, the dog that, despite her ordeal, maintained a sunny disposition.
"We were all bummed. We cried and cried," said Liptak, who called Filene the most abused animal she has ever seen.
Officials are still searching for the person who abandoned Filene outside the Connecticut Post Mall. The shelter is located at 664 E. Broadway in Mildford and can be reached at (203) 783-3279.
- New Haven Register - Feb 25, 2000
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