By Jen Nicomedes
“According to , four million cats and dogs – about one every eight seconds – are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year due to overpopulation and, in some cases, abuse and neglect.
“On January 10, 2013, the odds for one particular dog shifted in his favor after he was hit by a car and left nearly lifeless on a busy Los Angeles sidewalk. His story would later transpire and inspire a community of people across the country to band together in saving one dog – his life.
Here’s the back story…
“Seriously hurt after a hit-and-run, the pit bull was left alone for nearly five hours as people walked by his body thinking the dog was already dead.
“Three L.A. police offers were heading back to their station when they noticed the dog’s tail was still moving – if only slightly. The officers rushed him to a nearby veterinary hospital, hoping to save his life. Despite how much pain he was in, the officers said the pit bull wagged his tail in gratitude to his rescuers
“According to , the dog suffered two broken ribs and a shattered leg.
“At the Advanced Veterinary Care Center where he was being treated, the veterinarians found a radio-frequency ID tag embedded under the dog’s skin, and the officers were able to track his owners in person. To their dismay, the owners claimed they were not willing to assume the pit bull’s hefty $10,000 medical bills.
“The owner said, “We can’t afford it. Put him down. We don’t want him,” recalled LAPD Officer Jennifer Cohen.
“After witnessing the dog’s heroic and courageous will to live, compassion overtook the officers and they were not prepared to let him go. With no idea how they could afford the dog’s medical bills, they knew they had to do one thing right away: they asked for the owner to sign the dog over to them.
“Now, Philly – named after the officers’ sergeant – has three moms.
““We couldn’t let him go. We couldn’t just walk away,” Officer Cindy Herrera told KTTV.
Philly’s initial medical bill did not stop there when veterinarians discovered in his x-ray that he had ingested foreign objects in his stomach. They had to surgically remove these items – plastic pieces and other materials – from his stomach.
“Cohen, Herrera, and the third officer, Valerie Lancaster, adopted Philly and started a Facebook page “” documenting his rescue and recovery. They also started a fundraising site through to raise funds for his medical bills.
“At this writing, the three “new moms” have raised over $25,000 from over 800 contributions across the country. Outpouring of support and admiration from people are plastered all over his Facebook page. One supporter commented, “My hat’s off to the fine officers that went above and beyond for a dog named Philly. Thank you for what you did.”
“The officers lovingly refer to him as “Team Philly,” serving as a reminder that despite living in a world that is sometimes chaotic and filled with bad news, these simple gestures of kindness is enough to instill and inspire compassion to make a difference in a single life – even to a dog named Philly.
“You can follow Philly’s story on Facebook “Rescuing Philly” – along with over 10,000 Facebook fans – or watch an update of his recovery on his recent appearance on “” with his three rescuers.