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Tiny Pup Wounded By Gunfire Fights For Her Life

Sweet Ruby on the road to recovery
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Three-month-old Ruby had no idea why she was being tossed around like a piece of used luggage. Sadly, innocent puppies like Ruby are often casualties of neglect, bartering, and trade.

When police officers arrived on the darkened street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, they found the Pit Bull puppy lying in a pool of her own blood. She and a 27-year-old man were shot, but the man left tiny Ruby to fend for herself. 

“I received a call from a friend of mine who is a police officer in Philadelphia,” Stefanie Cucinotta says. “They were able to rush Ruby to Ryan Vet Hospital in the area since she needed immediate care; I called over to let staff know we would take care of her.”

Cucinotta is a board member and rescue coordinator at Noah’s Ark Rescue Project and Sanctuary, a foster-based rescue based in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. She instructed staffers at the veterinary hospital to do anything and everything they could to save Ruby’s life.

An angel fluttered her wings on Ruby’s behalf.

tiny pup Ruby in hospital

Bleeding and Alone On A Cold Street

While Ruby’s tiny body fought to stay alive, authorities tried to sort out the series of events that led to the pup’s nightmare. 

Cucinotta reports a man wanted to buy Ruby from another party believed to be a backyard breeder. This type of ‘breeder’ irresponsibly breeds animals and is ignorant or neglectful in understanding how and why to breed. 

“The man selling Ruby avoided gunfire but went back into his house, never called the police, and left the puppy lying in the street to die,” according to Cucinotta. 

The party attempting to purchase Ruby was hit by gunfire, but he was uncooperative with law enforcement. As of this writing, neither party has contacted Noah’s Ark to inquire about Ruby.

On further investigation, the man attempting to purchase Ruby told authorities that she was lying alone in the street, having been shot by a stray bullet. Each moment she was ignored meant one moment closer to perishing. 

Ruby the puppy tries to fight

Ruby Fights To Stay Alive

The veterinary team at UPenn Emergency, where Ruby was transferred for a higher level of care, got right to work. Stray gunfire blindsided the pup, inflicting a bullet directly to her neck. She lost a significant amount of blood, and her condition was guarded.

The sweet pup underwent emergency exploratory surgery to determine the extent of her injuries, followed by blood transfusions and pain medication. Damage to her carotid arteries would have been a devastating blow and likely led to her death. 

After surviving a harrowing overnight procedure, veterinarians concluded a bullet entered Ruby’s spine, exited her neck, and narrowly missed her trachea, carotid arteries, and spine. 

She spent the better part of one week in the University of Pennsylvania’s ICU unit for supportive care, observation, and attention. 

Ruby is getting cuddles from a veterinarian

Miracles Can Happen

Despite Ruby’s blood loss, rough start in life, and near-death experience on the streets of Philadelphia, her can-do attitude carried her through.

Just one short day after her emergency surgery, Ruby stunned everyone by standing up on her own and giving kisses to the veterinary staff. She was so close to death and wanted to give everyone Pitty kisses to thank them. 

Ruby’s tenacity carried her through from the desolate streets to the emergency hospital and finally to the ICU. 

“When Ruby arrived at Ryan Veterinary Hospital, she needed five blood transfusions to keep her alive,” Cucinotta states. “Once she woke up from surgery, she gave all of the staff kisses.” 

After nearly a week in the hospital, Ruby was discharged to spend some well-deserved time healing on crate rest. Thankfully, she has not had any complications.

Miracle pup Ruby

Ruby’s Yellow Brick Road

Ruby was placed on a stray hold before Noah’s Ark could officially put her through the intake process. They filed a found dog report, and her story captured the attention of local media. 

No one came forward to try and claim Ruby. She was recently officially medically cleared and moving on to her new, forever home.

“There have been no arrests yet, as it’s difficult when victims and witnesses aren’t cooperating with law enforcement,” Cucinotta reports. “We are thankful Ruby is alive and doing well regardless of how that [arrests] plays out.”

Ruby is cuddling

A Happy Ending

Not all dogs are as fortunate as Ruby, but many survive thanks to good Samaritans and caring people. After her follow-up appointment to remove her stitches, that should be the last of her injury visits.

The folks at Noah’s Ark are certain Ruby is ready for her forever home and will make her new family very happy. 

Ruby is proud to be alive

Helping Noah’s Ark Stay Afloat

Noah’s Ark Rescue Project and Sanctuary was founded by Candance Scheirer in 2015. Scheirer handles the horse and livestock rescues on her farm. 

Cucinotta and four other board members oversee dogs. They take in sick, unwanted, abandoned, injured, and/or homeless dogs from local shelters and place them in foster homes. The team makes sure the animals receive proper veterinary care and are medically cleared before promoting them as adoptable.

“We also have two board members who oversee cats and one who oversees small animals (rabbits, turtles, ferrets, rats, guinea pigs, etc.)” Cucinotta shares. “They operate the same way we do with dogs, utilizing foster homes before promoting animals for adoption.”

If you’d like to help animals like Ruby, consider fostering, which truly saves lives. Cucinotta says the power of social media helped their local shelter successfully promote their foster program.

In 2022, their live release rate for dogs was a mere 11 percent. Now, she happily reports, it hovers between 87 and 90 percent. This is thanks to willing fosters, which helps the shelter and Noah’s Ark.

“As a result, we are able to take in shelter dogs, which frees up more kennel space,” she stated.

Dogs like Ruby will go on to live a happy, healthy life that all animals deserve. Learn more and how you can help Noah’s Ark at their website. For information on donating to Ruby’s fund, visit her CUDDLY Campaign Page.