Despite repeated requests for clemency, Oreo the dog — a pit bull who miraculously survived a six-story fall from Brooklyn's Red Hook Houses — was put to death yesterday. But the controversy surrounding the ASPCA's decision to euthanize the two-year-old pooch remains very much alive.
Oreo suffered two broken legs and a fractured rib after owner Fabian Henderson threw her off the roof of a building. Oreo's recovery turned into a major news story, with requests to adopt the dog from far and wide (even from Gothamist commenters).
But the ASPCA deemed Oreo too aggressive to live out her life in the company of humans or other dogs, and injected her in the leg yesterday afternoon with an "overdose of sodium pentobarbital" after serving the dog a last meal of "premium quality" kibble and canned dog food, according to the Times. "We have done everything humanly possible to save Oreo's life; yet, as a result of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Mr. Henderson, or for other reasons we may never know, she has come to a place where she can no longer be around people or other animals," the agency said in a statement yesterday. "We make this decision—and others like it-- with a heavy heart and a complete understanding that had she been treated with love and respect, Oreo's fate would be much different."
Unsurprisingly, animal rescue activists — who launched last minute efforts to save the dog — remain outraged by the agency's decision. Camille Hankins, the director of Win Animal Rights, accused the ASPCA of completing "what the animal abuser who threw her off that Brooklyn rooftop set out to do." Volunteers from cast of the TV show Rescue Ink — which has played a rather prominent role in the case of a Long Island woman accused or running a "concentration camp" for animals — even offered to take Oreo to the Middletown sanctuary Pets Alive, but the agency didn't heed the request. "This is absolutely disgusting," Kerry Clair, of Pets Alive, told the Daily News. "Why would an organization charged with guarding and protecting animals kill this dog before taking every other option?"