Surgery was wrapping up this afternoon on Gordo the dog. An official at Advanced Critical Care-Los Angeles said veterinary surgeons were working on saving his leg and that the operation was almost complete.
The owners opted to save the pooch's right, rear leg rather than amputate, said hospital representative Shannon Brown.
See also: Gordo the Dog Steals L.A.'s Heart
An outpouring of donations via the veterinary facility's website could cover the cost of the procedure, but that's not entirely clear yet, she said:
“We're thrilled with the support,” Brown said, “but we don't have a final cost for the procedure.”
The dog, estimated to be 1 to 2 years old, was struck by a van being chased by authorities in South Los Angeles about 9:06 p.m. last night, authorities said.
— Claudia Peschiutta (@ReporterClaudia) September 18The collision was witnessed by many who followed live television and streaming coverage of the pursuit. A wave of concern for Gordo hit social media soon after.
Brown said Gordo, who underwent about three hours of surgery today, would likely be kept at the Culver City veterinary facility for a few days so he could recover.
His surgeons were identified as Kim Carey and Annie Lo. “He could not be in better hands,” the facility said in a statement.
Two suspects, 21-year-old Yovany Ervin Rodriguez of L.A., alleged to the be the driver, and 26-year-old Gwendi Yarubi Valenton of Bakersfield, said to be a passenger, were taken into custody minutes after Gordo was struck thanks to a California Highway Patrol PIT maneuver that spun the van out, the CHP stated.
The agency says the duo was booked on suspicion of “unlawful taking of a vehicle,” but the District Attorney's office would have the discretion to charge suspects with animal cruelty if prosecutors feel the allegation fits.
[Added at 9:38 p.m.]: The veterinarians told reporters early this evening that the leg is saved and that Gordo was expected to fully recover.
Kim Carey, one of two surgeons who worked on the pooch, said that's amazing given the trauma he went through last night:
We believe the car, which was running on rims, one of the rims may have actually sliced through the back part of his thigh just adjacent to his colon.