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Coco the 'miracle dog' on the mend after getting hit by car, stuck in grill

Coco the 'miracle dog' on the mend after getting hit by car, stuck in grill

Owner launches GoFundMe page
Coco the 'miracle dog' on the mend after getting hit by car, stuck in grill
Noella Lafreniere, veternarian tech for Dr. Carla Hernas, holds "Coco," who was hit by a car.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

ROTTERDAM — The dog who went on an unexpected trip from Albany to Rotterdam after being stuck in the grill of a car is recovering after the first of several scheduled surgeries.

“Coco is doing better,” said owner Kathleen Hamilton on Thursday. “She just got out of surgery and she’s just now waking up.”

The Shiba Inu survived being struck and embedded in a car grill in Albany, and then traveled for 45 minutes to Rotterdam with relatively minor injuries, including a broken elbow and hip.

The surgery on Thursday was to repair injuries to Coco’s front-right elbow. A second is planned next week for her right ankle, Hamilton said. 

Medical expenses have surpassed initial estimates, said Hamilton, who is on a fixed income and has set up a GoFundMe page to aid with costs.

As of Thursday evening, the effort raised $5,142 of its $7,000 goal.

After striking the dog on North Manning Boulevard, the driver thought she had hit a ball. She checked the car but didn't see Coco, who was embedded in the lower portion of the grill beneath the license plate. But after hearing noises in Rotterdam, she checked again and saw Coco staring out from below the plate, police said. 

An animal control officer took the dog to Hernas Veterinary Clinic in Schenectady. 

Hamilton, who was in Albany visiting relatives, plans on returning to her home in Thomasville, North Carolina on Sunday — with Coco in tow.

The pair will be back and forth as Coco, who turned 1 on Oct. 13 and serves as an emotional support dog, completes her recovery. 

“She’s very happy,” Hamilton said. “She loves all people -- she bounces around the house, she’s very hyper, and she likes to dig.”

That digging, as it turns out, is what ultimately led to the adventure, as Coco dug a hole in the backyard and slipped under a fence.

Hamilton said she’s appreciative of the public’s support and is happy Coco is on the mend.

“I feel great. I was very upset all this week. I haven’t been to sleep and eat, but I’m doing much better.”

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