Detroit pit bull dragged behind bike recovering

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A white pit bull found nearly dead in Detroit last week is starting to feel more like she’s in the pink.

“She’s doing better,” Kristina Rinaldi, executive director of Detroit Dog Rescue, said Monday. “She was smiling last night. She was happy last night. We got some tail wags.”

Two people rescued the dog last week Wednesday when they saw her collapse after two men on bikes were pulling her, Rinaldi said. The dog, estimated to be about 5 years old, has been dubbed “Penelope.”

A 5-year-old pit bull who's been named Penelope was found after two men on bikes pulled her alongside them until she collapsed.

Rinaldi said the dog’s rescuers found Penelope in the area of St. Paul Avenue and Bellevue Street near Mount Elliot and Kercheval on the city’s east side.

“She was being forced to run alongside a bike at a high rate of speed for her,” she said. “When she collapsed, the men couldn’t get her back up, so they allegedly began beating her.”

“After the men left the dog lying on the ground, those good Samaritans, thankfully, stepped in and took Penelope and called us.”

Penelope’s saviors kept her overnight, discovered her injuries were too extensive for them to care for her and then turned the pit bull over to the Detroit Dog Rescue Thursday, Rinaldi said.

The group took Penelope to the Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills. Vet techs at the 24-hour emergency animal hospital gave her the name Penelope, Rinaldi said.

In addition to bruises and marks, Penelope was dehydrated, she said. The dog also shows signs of a lifetime of abuse: She’s underweight, she’s birthed so many litters her uterus is prolapsed and has some liver problems, Rinaldi said.

“On top of that, she’s also heartworm positive,” she said. “Penelope’s got a long, long road ahead of her.”

Donations to help pay for the cost of Penelope’s treatment can be made through the Detroit Dog Rescue website’s donate tab.

Rinaldi said she expects Penelope to be as good as new.

“It’s going to take some time,” she said. “But we expect her to make a full recovery.”

In the meantime, the group is hoping to find the men who left Penelope to die. Rinaldi said the only description they have of the men is that they’re African-American, in their 20s and were wearing dark clothing. If anyone has information about the men or Penelope, they should call the Detroit Dog Rescue at (313) 458-8014.