Couldn’t Keep Ollie Down: German shepherd recovers from hit-and-run; fundraiser to be held in Jim Thorpe
She still has some rehabilitation work ahead of her, but Ollie is enjoying being back with some of her four-legged friends, including a miniature horse named Dodge. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The day after Christmas, a female German shepherd named Ollie chased a cat out onto Behrens Road near Jim Thorpe. Focused on the cat, Ollie ran into the side of a passing vehicle and was injured.
Her owner, Racheal Lynn DeRosa, her boyfriend Brian Potance and Scott Lignore — Ollie had been chasing a cat from Lignore’s barn — ran to help Ollie. The driver had stopped and helped. Potance ran up Lignore’s driveway to get his vehicle to take Ollie to a veterinarian.
Ollie lay on her side in the road, with the three people standing around her. As another car approached, the people waved, yelled, jumped up and down — and finally had to jump out of the way as the car ran over the injured dog. That driver fled the scene.
DeRosa and Potance got Ollie to Valley Central Veterinary Referral and Emergency in Whitehall. The veterinarians there told them Ollie had three broken legs and seven fractured ribs. She received a blood transfusion and surgeries to stabilize her broken legs — first the femur of a rear leg, then the two front legs the following day.
One of those breaks — the elbow of a front leg — proved especially troublesome and required a second surgery. After the initial treatment at Valley Central, Ollie was treated at the University of Pennsylvania, New Bolton Center.
“Dr. Jen Huck, an orthopedic specialist, has been absolutely amazing,” DeRosa said. “When I was feeling bad, she kept telling me that it was going to get better — she even kept in touch with me when she was on vacation.”
DeRosa said that the University of Pennsylvania veterinary students at the New Bolton Center fell in love with Ollie, and Ollie loved them right back. After they had graduated, the students came to the Center to see Ollie when she had a checkup and left messages such as “I’ll never forget you Ollie.”
“She’s a miracle dog, not your typical dog, or she never would have made it this far,” DeRosa said. “She’s putting weight on all four legs and has good range of motion, getting better every day.”
Another bundle of fur and energy was a key part of Ollie’s recovery. Just a month or two after the accident, DeRosa decided to get a male German shepherd pup, now named Odin. Some said having a puppy around might prove too much for Ollie, but DeRosa knew her dog.
“She is playing with him and loves playing tug with him,” she said. “When I got Odin, people said, what, are you crazy? But I know Ollie.”
Ollie’s medical bills are around $52,000. Using monies raised via Facebook under Saving Ollie, and using her own money, DeRosa has reduced the debt to about $16,000. DeRosa still wishes the second driver would come forward, which would be a huge help since that driver’s insurance company could be responsible for Ollie’s medical bills.
The Union Publick House, Jim Thorpe, is having a fundraiser for Ollie from 4 to 9 p.m. June 4. Union Publick House owner Lynn McMenemon has chosen Ollie for the “tithing,” which means that 10% of the restaurant’s total sales will be donated for Ollie’s medical bills.
“I’m humbled and thankful by the people who have donated,” DeRosa said. “And I’m really proud of Ollie.”