It was just another day on the job for sanitation worker Victoria Roman — until something caught her eye.
On Friday morning, April 5 as the Brooklyn native was working in Astoria, she approached a garbage bag that began to move. When she and her partner looked inside, they found a wagging tail and a very sickly looking dog.
“First I thought it was just paper in the bag because she was white. When she moved I thought she was a rabbit,” said Roman. “I did what came naturally and what I think anyone else would do to an animal in that condition.”
After calling in her find to her superiors, Roman asked her supervisor to watch over the helpless animal until she finished her shift and could then find a way to care for the dog. Having dealt with the loss of her own dog, which she had for over 16 years, Roman decided not to take rescue home.
Due to financial problems, Roman could not immediately take the pup to her personal veterinarian and instead asked for help from a friend who referred her to BARC Shelter in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
“I didn’t want to take her to a shelter where she would be put to sleep,” said Roman. “BARC is a non-kill shelter and they will find her a loving home.”
Although the Maltese, now lovingly nicknamed “Victoria” at the shelter after her rescuer, was found matted with feces and with an eye infection, she is now bathed, full of life and slowly getting better.
“She’s in good health,” said Alex Kaplun, dog kennel supervisor at BARC Shelter. “She’s been very curious, friendly and sweet. She’s learning how to be a dog.”
“Victoria,” who is believed to be eight years old, is currently living with the shelter’s owners, Tony Spato and Vinny Spinola and is under the care of Veterinarian Elaine Felton who is looking after her and treating her for anemia. Once
“Victoria” gains weight and the shelter believes she is healthy and in a comfortable state, then she will be put up for adoption.
Due to close to 100 applications coming in to adopt “Victoria,” the shelter is no longer taking any more but still welcomes donations to fund her recovery through the shelter’s website at barcshelther.org. Along with “Victoria,” Kaplun also hopes people can take the time to adopt other less unfortunate animals at the shelter who are looking for a place to call home.