Apparently, according to an article, recently published on the ASPCA website, Rafael Lauda struck Gigi, a five month-old Pit Bull puppy and drove away, not bothering to provide any information to Gigi's distraught owner. Unfortunately, Gigi died at a nearby animal hospital from her fatal injuries.
However, shortly after the incident, the ASPCA was notified and started an immediate investigation. The ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement agents were able to arrest Lauda on several charges, including leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury to an animal, and driving with a suspended license. If found guilty, Lauda could be facing over a year in jail.
Dr. Robert Reisman, ASPCA Medical Coordinator of Animal Cruelty Cases gives some excellent advice for people who observe an animal struck by a car. "Regardless of how serious the injuries appear, any animal hit by a car needs immediate attention. Internal injuries may not be visible, but in all instances may be life-threatening."
He also cautions, "Because you may further aggravate a serious injury while moving an injured animal, he or she should be carefully placed on a board, or at the very least, a blanket, and carefully but quickly transported to the closest animal hospital. If there is external bleeding, apply pressure to the wound to limit loss of blood."
The ASPCA urges people walking their dogs to be cautious when crossing a street. They suggest that extension leashes not be used in heavily trafficked areas.
If you witness animal cruelty in New York City, call (877) THE-ASPCA. Outside of New York City, visit their FAQ information by visiting http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=cruelty_faq
Have you ever witnessed an episode of animal cruelty? How did you handle it? Leave a comment about your experience.