ROTTERDAM -- A Shiba Inu named Coco survived being struck and embedded in a car grill in Albany, and then traveled all the way to Rotterdam like that with relatively minor injuries, according to police and veterinary officials.
The dog was hit on North Manning Boulevard just before noon Monday, police said. The driver realized the car had hit something, but thought it was a ball, Rotterdam police Lt. Jeffrey Collins said Tuesday.
After stopping and seeing damage but nothing else, the driver left, headed for a body shop in Glenville. But as the driver drove along Helderberg Avenue in Rotterdam, she heard noises from the front of her car, Collins said.
This time when she stopped and looked, she saw a dog staring out from below the license plate, Collins said.
The driver, whom police would not identify, immediately called police. One of the responding Rotterdam officers was able to free the dog.
Amazingly, despite her 45-minute ordeal, the dog appeared largely OK, Collins said. Police released a photo of the dog stuck in the car, editing out the car's plate number to protect the driver's identity.
Police called in an animal control officer who took the dog to Hernas Veterinary Clinic in Schenectady for treatment. The officer also tracked down the dog's owner in Albany.
Workers at Hernas checked the dog out and X-rays revealed the dog had a broken elbow. She was obviously also sore, but otherwise OK, Hernas employee Tammy Van Valkenburgh said Tuesday. The dog weighs about 16 pounds, she said.
"We thought it was a miracle," Van Valkenburgh said of Coco's ordeal. "When I walked in yesterday, they told me the miracle dog was here. She was here standing on three legs."
Coco's elbow injury, however, is expected to require surgery by a specialist at some point, Van Valkenburgh said.
Coco's owner is actually from North Carolina and was staying with a sister in Albany when the dog got out and was struck, Van Valkenburgh said.
Despite her ordeal, Coco is doing well. She remained at the veterinary clinic Tuesday.
"As far as we can tell she's going great," Van Valkenburgh said. "She's taking her medicine. She's very sweet."