Canine kindness: Stranger helps family

June 18, 2009 2:34:55 PM PDT
A Northeast Philadelphia family is thankful for a perfect stranger who came in a pinch to save the family pet. Magie Castro thinks of little dog Leo as much more than a pet.

"Leo is like another child to me, but more fragile," Magie said.

Her daughter, Sylvia Lopez says he's like a sibling.

"He's like a brother, a baby brother but more because my brother and I fight a lot so he's like a better brother." Sylvia said.

They were both devastated when Sylvia tripped and fell on top of Leo while walking him in the park. He suffered some head trauma which caused his left eye to partially detach.

"I got scared and I just grabbed him and came straight to the SPCA," Magie said.

The vets said to save Leo's eyesight they had to perform emergency surgery. Magie, however, could not afford the cost and realized she may have to give Leo up for adoption.

"The Pennsylvania SPCA has a low cost veterinary clinic and we make our services as affordable as we can, but unfortunately we see a number of situations where it's just too much for people," Kim Wolf of the SPCA said.

"I was crying, hysterical, begging them," Magie said.

That's when a complete stranger who was right in the lobby overheard what was going on and decided to step in and pay for half of Leo's surgery.

"She just said she could tell we really loved the dog and she didn't want to see us lose our dog," Magie said.

"Animals, as cliché as it is, really do bring people together," Katie Eshelman of the SPCA said.

The SPCA says because of the economy, they are seeing more cases like Castro's.

"We're so overwhelmed by dogs we're trying to find homes for, it's nice to know this one had a happy ending," Wolf said.

Neither Castro nor Action News could reach the Good Samaritan who helped Leo out, but Castro says she's eternally grateful.

"Words can't explain how I feel about her," Magie said.

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