Wednesday, July 22, 2009

5 Legged Puppy Set for Surgery

A five-legged puppy could soon walk normally, thanks to a North Carolina woman who paid $4,000 to prevent Precious from becoming part of a New York sideshow.

The Charlotte Observer reported Saturday that Allyson Siegel, 45, of Charlotte bought the puppy last week because she couldn't bear for the Chihuahua-terrier mix to be sold to a Coney Island, N.Y., sideshow that features disfigured animals, CBS station WCBS-TV reported.

Siegel renamed the puppy Lilly and plans to spend an additional $2,000 to get the extra appendage removed. Surgery is set in two weeks. The fifth leg, which trips Lilly as she tries to walk, hangs limply between the puppy's two back legs.

Otherwise healthy, the puppy was born in a litter of six at Calvin Owensby's Chihuahua Diamond in Gastonia about six weeks ago.

The paper reported that sideshow owner John Strong, who heard about the puppy through a friend, had paid Owensby $1,000 as a deposit on a $3,000 agreement. Owensby, an electrician unemployed since December, said he needed the money.

But local reports of the planned sale caused an uproar among animal activists.

"I just called him and I said, 'How much?"' Siegel told the newspaper, adding that her motto is, "Don't do to animals what you wouldn't do to your kids."

Following the surgery, Siegel -- who already has six cats -- plans to give Lilly to her sister in Charlotte.

Strong, who got his deposit back, said he would have given Lilly a good life.

Though he's disappointed, he said, "Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals' and move on."

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