In a season of generosity and placing others above ourselves, an unnamed person this week gave the gift of life. A good Samaritan found a puppy hobbled by a broken leg and called authorities who brought the injured animal to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society.

The three-month-old black labrador mix, named Rudy by the staff at the Humane Society, was found crying in pain and unable to move by a concerned citizen on the side of the road on Thompson Street in the village of Catskill.

The good Samaritan, who has not come forward and has not been identified, contacted Catskill Dog Control officers, who brought Rudy to a veterinarian. The examination revealed that Rudy’s right front leg was fractured. Veterinarians gave him a splint, but Rudy’s leg may require orthopedic surgery to repair the break.

It is unclear whether the puppy was hit by a car and injured or was abandoned with the broken leg on the side of the road. Rudy was not wearing a collar when he was found, indicating he could have been an unlucky stray or simply abandoned in the street, wounded and suffering. We may never know.

Rudy is listed in fair condition, according to the Humane Society, which is handling the animal’s rehabilitation.

Rudy’s recovery, if surgery is not needed, will take about four to six weeks with the splint. Since Rudy is technically a stray, he has to be held for five days before he is eligible for adoption.

“We will adopt him out with the splint to the right people,” Columbia-Greene Humane Society President Ron Perez said. “They have to understand that he will need follow-up care.”

If a surgical procedure is required, it may be a longer wait before Rudy can be adopted.

Cruelty to animals in an area where great value is placed on pets and livestock is a powerful offense. It can take the form of a dog like Rudy, perhaps the victim of a hit-and-run, perhaps the victim of a cruel abandonment. And what of the people who might have heard or seen Rudy howling and writhing in pain and did nothing? Again, we may never know.

Letting actions speak louder than words is a fundamental feature of the holiday season. A good Samaritan in the right place at the right time saw to it that one “really wonderful little puppy” got a second chance.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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