A black lab was left to die after being thrown out of a car window into oncoming traffic on the west side of Pueblo Friday evening.
But thankfully for Sweetie, she had a guardian angel nearby. Melissa Dunaway's step-kids were playing outside and saw the whole thing. They immediately told Dunaway, who went and rescued the dog.
"[The person] who did this didn't even slow down, and tried to throw her in front of an oncoming car," Dunaway said when she first notified 11 News about Sweetie's ordeal. "Luckily she bounced and hit the curb before the car could hit her."
The idea that someone could toss a dog on the road and leave it to fend for itself infuriates Dunaway, who said she has had animals her whole life.
"I think that's absolutely horrible how anyone could do something like that to an animal," Dunaway said.
Dunaway has filed a report and is determined to find the person involved.
"I'd like to find out who did this to the dog, and I'd like to see him prosecuted."
For the time being, Dunaway has opened her home to the lab, who she named Sweetie. Though physically uninjured in the fall, for the first couple of days Sweetie was still greatly affected by the cruelty she suffered, moving a little slowly and keeping her tail between her legs. But after two days with Dunaway and her family, the resilient dog is beginning to show signs of bouncing back.
"Her ears are up, she's running around and playing," Dunaway told 11 News Sunday.
Dunaway said there's evidence Sweetie was abused long before she was callously tossed out of a moving vehicle; she reportedly has a couple of scars from previous beatings.
Dunaway is confident that with the right family, Sweetie could be a great addition to a loving home. A vet is scheduled to look at Sweetie Monday before she gets put up for adoption. Until Sweetie is ready to be adopted, Dunaway intends to take care of her.
All that is known about the suspect is that he was driving a red van or SUV, and had a chihuahua with him when he threw Sweetie out the window. He is described as a white or light-skinned Hispanic man with a shaved head. The dog was thrown off West 16th Street in the High Park area. Sweetie is not microchipped, but Dunaway hopes someone knows who her owner was.
Anyone with information or wishing to adopt Sweetie can contact Dunaway directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dunaway will forward the e-mails to PAWS for Life in Pueblo, who will be handling the adoption procedure. Sweetie will not be eligible for adoption for five days. Dunaway stresses that whoever adopts Sweetie needs to be an experienced dog owner.