PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s official! On September 9th a young pit bull named Nova, who captured our hearts, was officially adopted by the Pittston Police Department and Chief Neil Murphy.
It was a grand celebration with cake and a wagging tail from a dog who had been recently found abandoned in Pittston, where there was some concern that she would not make it.
Sgt. William Lukasavage of the Pittston Police Department was dispatched on June 8th to find Nova, an 8-month-old pit bull, abandoned and left for dead.
“I’ve been a police officer for 19 years, this is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to witness and be a part of.”
Sgt. Lukasavage called Liz Nayavich, the owner of Maxwell’s House, a local dog kennel, trying to find anyone who could help save Nova’s life.
“He said he had gotten a call from someone in the neighborhood, a good samaritan, panicked that there was an abandoned dog.” . . . “The scene was scary. She was so rejected and more than physically, you could see emotionally she was just gone.”
Dr. Sara McGarry, a local veterinarian at the Shoemaker Avenue Animal Hospital, offered hope for Nova.
“When she first came in she had a body condition of one out of nine. She was skin and bones.”
Numerous procedures added up to thousands of dollars in medical bills, but Dr. McGarry was able to assist with that as well. She was not only able to nurse Nova back to health but has paid around $3,000 out of her own pocket to save the young pit bull’s life.
“I’m always happy to give back to the community,” McGarry said. “Her story is just–there was no question. Whatever she needed, we were there to help her.”
Dr. McGarry wasn’t the only one donating their time and services however, Nayavich was housing and caring for Nova until she got adopted.
“She has free grooming and daycare and boarding for life with us. Whatever they need with her is free forever.” Nayavich said.
Dog trauma therapist Cory Cohen worked hard, and also free of cost to help Nova feel safe and secure after a lifetime of trauma. He’s training her to be a therapy dog.
“Nova has to understand that there will be a large variety of people and different styles. Like where some people are going to love that fact that she’ll jump up and wrestle with them, other people are going to want to be more like I love you but I’m going to need you to stay calm at a distance from me.”
Nova was likely wondering who will be taking her in her new role as a therapy dog. As fate would have it, it would be the officers who saved her.
“We walk up and down the street all day long and people won’t stop and talk to us, but just that fact that she’s there, people are blowing their horns, waving, giving us thumbs up, stopping their car, getting out, can we please take a picture with her, because she’s a community superstar,” said Pittston Police Department Chief Neil Murphy.
‘The Pit of Pittston’ will be a story this community will never forget.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this dog doesn’t belong to just one person, this dog belongs to the entire community because the amount of community support that we’ve received is unbelievable and overwhelming the amount of joy this dog brings to this community,” Chief Murphy said.
Thanks to plenty of love and care from a local rescue and the community, Nova is doing much better, and ready to take on a new mission in life. Nova will soon be ready for her new mission with the department.