Since being rescued from the swamp where she was thrown from Interstate 310 last Tuesday, Ally Gator the pit bull is doing much better.
“She’s doing well, but she’s still undergoing medical treatment,” said Angie Robert, St. Charles Parish’s animal control supervisor. “At this point, she’s still considered evidence as to the investigation. The important thing and, this is true of all of any injured dog we have, is she’s staying here until she’s 100 percent again.”
Once this happens, the pit bull tossed more than 30 feet over a guardrail from I-310 and left to drown in the swamp below should be getting a new home.
“It’ll be a rigorous application process just as it would be for any of them,” Robert said of a process that will take awhile before the dog is released for adoption. But she noted the shelter will accept applications from those interested in doing so.
Nicknamed Ally Gator, the pit bull was tossed off the elevated portion of the interstate southbound, rescued and taken to the St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter. A closer inspection revealed she had a serious skin infection and was probably bitten by an alligator.
“It will absolutely not be given back to the owner until a full investigation has been had,” Robert said of rumors that dog had been returned to the owner. “If there is an owner, I’ve got questions. Until we get the facts, the dog isn’t going anywhere.”
Ally Gator was rescued after witnesses notified local authorities that a dog had been tossed out of a vehicle over the guard rail on the highway and into the swamp around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Robert, who assisted the rescue, said the animal was thrown about 30 feet in the air over the guard rail, where she struggled in the water for about an hour until the St. Rose Fire Department recovered her from a patch of grass or land.
“It’s in the top five cases I’ve worked and I’ve been in the rescue business 15 to 20 years now,” she said. “I didn’t believe the call when it came.”
Robert praised local authorities’ efforts that saved the animal. St. Rose Fire Department, the St. Charles Parish Animal Control and St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office all assisted in locating and saving the dog, which weighs 75 pounds.
She praised the efforts of St. Charles Parish Deputy Stephen Cantelli, who stayed with the dog until help arrived. She also noted the importance of the first call to save the dog, made by Louisiana state trooper Darrell Thomas. She also credited Lee Hebert of the Louisiana EOC for getting the process of saving the dog rolling.
“Without that call, she wouldn’t have been saved,” Robert said.
Thomas discovered the dog, he said, while making a routine traffic stop.
“I thought, at first, ‘that can’t be a dog,’” Thomas said. “But I looked over the side (of the interstate) and sure enough, there she was. I made a couple of calls. The first thing that comes to mind is, ‘who would throw a dog over the side of the interstate. Some people are evil.”
Of the rescue, Robert observed, “She knew she was being rescued and she embraced it. She is the sweetest thing.”
On arrival, officers observed a female pit bull alive on a small piece of land or marshy grass in the swamp below the interstate. They rescued the dog within 45 minutes.
Believed to be five to seven years old, “the dog appears to be in good health except for some skin issues,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Robert said Ally Gator is being treated for two puncture wounds, which veterinarian Jena Troxler told her are consistent with markings in a recent case she handled that involved an alligator bite. Also, in light of what may have caused these wounds, Robert said it seemed ironic the dog was recovered with a Florida Gator leash wrapped around its neck.
The pit bull is also being treated for a serious skin condition, which they believe existed prior to the incident.
Robert also wants to get the word out that even if one isn’t able to adopt Ally Gator, the dog is one of many who have suffered injuries and will soon need a home. Unfortunately, she said, incidents like the one that victimized this dog are not uncommon enough.
“We’re asking everyone to keep their eye out for (animal abuse),” Robert said. “We’re happy to have (Ally Gator) and blessed to have her alive, but at the same time, so many animals are being dumped or hurt, and they need help, too. If you don’t get her, hey, you can get someone else.”
The aggravated animal cruelty case is under investigation. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (985) 783-6807.