- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana dog whose owner ordered it euthanized after it was hit by a car is recovering from surgery after a stranger stepped in to save its life.

Cari Reiter’s 11-year-old Chow Chow, Delilah, was staying with friends last week while Reiter underwent a knee replacement. The dog got loose and was hit by a car, WNDU reported (https://bit.ly/1w3fwav ).

A stranger took Delilah to an emergency veterinarian, but the injuries to her back legs were severe. Surgery was needed and was likely to run $6,000 - a bill that Reiter said she couldn’t afford.

“I said, well, with the situation, I think right now I probably need to have her put to sleep,” Reiter recalled.

Reiter’s daughter called the next day with a surprise: Delilah wasn’t dead.

Gus Koucouthakis, the stranger who helped Delilah after the accident, said he couldn’t let that happen and took the dog to a better-equipped Fort Wayne veterinarian. He covered the tab for Delilah’s amputated leg and metal plate insertion.

“In my mind there wasn’t a choice,” Koucouthakis said. “When you see an animal hurt like that, it’s just gut-wrenching. I looked at her eyes and it just touched my heart. I just knew in my heart I had to do everything I possibly could to save her. … I could not just give in to the fact that the choice was to put her down.”

Reiter and Delilah were reunited Wednesday after Koucouthakis drove the nearly two hours to Fort Wayne and back to South Bend to pick up the dog. Both owner and dog are facing months of recovery.

“It will be a learning curve for both of us,” she said. “That’s what we’re here for, each other.”


Information from: WNDU-TV, https://www.wndu.com/

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