20 July 2009

5-Legged Pup Saved From Freakshow

New Yorkers opened their hearts and wallets on Sunday for the North Carolina woman who saved a five-legged puppy from a Coney Island freak show as they hailed the big-hearted animal lover as a hero.

A Manhattan vet was so touched by the actions of Allyson Siegel, the Charlotte woman who bought Lilly for $4,000 to spare her from a life as a Surf Ave. freak puppy, that he offered to remove the dog's extra leg for free.

Dr. Neil Shaw, co-owner of NYC Veterinary Specialists on W. 55th St., said his hospital would evaluate the 6-week-old Chihuahua-terrier mix and then plan the surgery.

"We would be more than happy to help out," he said.

Siegel was thrilled by the generosity.

"That is so nice. I'm so happy!" she said on Sunday.

Siegel, 45, said her local vet told her it would charge $2,000 for the operation. NYC Veterinary Specialists runs a foundation it can tap to help pay for the care of needy animals.

Daily News reader Tony Raimi, 27, called to find out Siegel's address so she could send her and Lilly a care package.

"When I read about her, it made me think, 'There are still good people out there,'" the Staten Island native said Sunday.

"I was at work when I read the story and had to walk away from the counter because I started to cry."

Raimi and readers who posted comments on the News' Web site cheered Siegel's decision to spend $4,000 to save Lilly.

"Allyson Siegel, you are my hero!" wrote Paula DeMarta Mastroianni. "Big big hugs to beautiful Lilly, and thank you for doing this!"

"Lucky Little Lilly," wrote Rose Young-Stewart. "The other animals on display at the Coney Island freak show need to be given good homes. Who wants to spend their life being stared at, ridiculed, laughed at, so the owner can make a living off them?"

Another reader called Siegel an "angel."

"She is showing that there are guardian angels even for animals," wrote reader Jeppydog. "What a truly wonderful person. God bless you, Allyson!"

[Source: NYDailyNews.com]