When the passerby first saw the garbage sack, they had to do a double take. Was the bag really moving? Well, the motion might have been scarcely noticeable, but there was clearly something big in there. Understandably concerned, then, the pedestrian called the police – who arrived to investigate. And what the cops found inside the trash bag would likely have shocked anyone.
On December 19, 2017, a shocking discovery was made in Brooklyn, New York. A pedestrian was passing through Cypress Hills park at about 8:30 p.m. when they spotted something troubling. To be more specific, some movement drew their attention to a bag in a nearby dumpster.
And on closer inspection, not only was the trash bag moving, but there also appeared to be some sounds coming from inside. Breathing noises, to be precise. It was a scary discovery, then, so witnesses called the police. And it was Officer Griffen Rosen who responded to the call.
When the officer investigated the trash bag, what he found inside most likely sickened him. It appeared that someone had thrown away an elderly dog and left the poor pooch to die in the garbage. What’s more, it seems that that someone wasn’t content with just abandoning the creature.
In fact, it’s as if the perpetrator didn’t want anyone to discover the dog. Apparently to that end, they had wrapped the poor animal inside the trash bag and taped his mouth shut. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the pooch also showed other signs of abuse – all of which had left him on the brink of death.
Clearly, then, the dog required emergency attention, so Officer Rosen called for some assistance. Now as it happens, Rosen also volunteers at New York Bully Crew (NYBC) – a Long Island-based animal rescue outfit. So, the officer reached out to the group for some advice.
And NYBC’s founder, Craig Fields, was more than happy to help. “When [Rosen] got to the scene, there were two other cops there,” Fields told New York’s Daily News on January 5, 2018. “Compassionate cops as well. So the three of them together said, ‘Let’s save this dog.’”
Next, an ambulance took the dog to the Marine Park Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group. But he wasn’t alone anymore, as NYBC staff accompanied him on the journey. The pooch was, however, in such a terrible state that veterinary physicians rushed him into surgery.
The animal was subsequently revealed to be an unidentified shepherd mix breed and estimated at roughly ten years old. Staff at the hospital also said that his condition wasn’t just down to recent abuse. Indeed, they were sure the dog must have suffered for some time before his owners discarded him.
On December 21, 2017, the dog’s veterinarian, Dr. Brett Levitzke, explained the situation in an interview with ABC News. “This didn’t happen overnight or over the course of a couple of days,” he said. “This is sustained neglect and abuse.”
Levitzke continued, “He [was left] lying in his own urine and feces to the point that he’s developed massive infections.” The dog was also found to be suffering from urine scalds all over his body. So bad was his condition, in fact, that NYBC’s Carla Mohan was moved to tears.
In a heartbreaking Facebook video posted on December 21, 2017, Mohan explained the situation. And it turns out that NYBC had returned some of the poor dog’s dignity by giving him a name. Specifically, with a nod to his inhuman suffering, the group had decided to call him Saint Vincent.
“Vincent means to conquer, and he’s actually named after my son,” Mohan said on the video. “The [rescue] call came in during [my son’s] birthday party, so we had to cut it short a little… So we named him Saint Vincent.”
What’s more, the dog lived up to his name with his disposition. For despite the horrendous abuse that he’d endured for at least some of his life, Saint Vincent was a gentle giant. And though clearly in pain at the hospital, he didn’t show any signs of aggression towards staff there.
Saint Vincent’s docile and sweet nature notwithstanding, though, he was a fighter when it came to survival. And with the help of pain meds and antibiotics, the dog soon began to claw himself back from the brink. Yet while Saint Vincent’s recovery might have seemed miraculous, Levitzke revealed one of the secrets to the animal’s progress.
“This isn’t any advanced medicine – it’s just TLC,” Levitzke told ABC News. And further good news is that despite some problems with his hips and spine, Saint Vincent is doing well. So, while the pooch may be a senior, he still has a lot of love to give any prospective adopter.
In fact, that love has already started at Saint Vincent’s foster home, which belongs to none other than NYBC founder Craig Fields. As a passionate dog owner himself, Fields has opened his doors to Saint Vincent while the pooch regains full strength. And in the meantime, the hunt is on for the dog’s forever home.
On that subject, NYBC has already had over 100 applications from families eager to adopt the dog. Meanwhile, law enforcement officers have launched a hunt for Saint Vincent’s abusers. And Fields told ABC News that police were pursuing leads to that end.
There is, furthermore, a $7,800 reward for anyone with information leading to the perpetrator’s conviction. “Someone is going to recognize [Saint Vincent],” Levitzke told ABC News. “Someone will come forward, so there can be some justice.”
Before that, though, Saint Vincent is the center of everyone’s attention. “Our job now is to continue the healing process,” Fields told NBC New York on January 5, 2018. “[We will] ensure a continuous safe environment for Saint Vincent to flourish. [Then we’ll] find the perfect home for him to finally settle into.”