Local residents, vet help heal dog of man fatally struck by car in Bay Ridge

March 13, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
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BAY RIDGE — A group of local residents and a veterinarian banded together to help a hurting family and their injured dog.

Following the death of 66-year-old Frank Decolvenaere, who was struck and killed by a Mercedes-Benz while crossing Fourth Avenue at 101st Street on the evening of Thursday, March  5, while walking his dog Stormy, the nine-month-old pitbull mix was badly injured.

While Stormy ran off after Decolvenaere was struck, she was found near her home the same night, and was taken to an emergency veterinarian, VERG Brooklyn,  at 196 Fourth Ave., where she was treated for her injuries.

“Stormy is doing much better,” Dr. Amy Brida, who treated her, told this paper. “She is making a fantastic recovery. She was obviously very unstable, coming in, but over the last few days, she has gotten better and better. We anticipate that she will make a full recovery.”

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According to Brida, Stormy, when she arrived at the office, “was in shock from bleeding. She had pulmonary contusions or bleeding within the lungs. She had pleural effusion, which is bleeding around the lungs. She had traumatic brain injury, multiple abrasions on her paws and her limbs. She also had pelvic fractures.”

However, after being treated with intravenous fluids, pain medication, antibiotics, oxygen supplementation and medication to decrease intracranial pressure, she started to breathe more comfortably within 24 hours.

She also started walking, according to Brida, and fortunately, did not need surgery.

All that care isn’t inexpensive. Britton Woodruff, Ryann Mullin and Annette Jordan, local friends of the Decolvenaere family, set up a Go Fund Me Page to help with Stormy’s medical bills so the family would have one less thing to worry about. They have already raised nearly $7,000 from locals.

“The initial motivation was simply because Demetra [Decolvenaere’s wife] is going through a lot with the death of her husband,” said Woodruff. “There’s going to be some mounting bills for the dog and we thought it would be a good show of community support to just kind of take that off the table for her so she doesn’t have to worry about it.”

“They are very close friends of mine and we wanted to support them in any way that we can,” added Mullin. “This is a very hard time for them. We just wanted to be there and pull Bay Ridge together as a community to help out. It worked. People are donating and they are helping just for the sake of the community, so I’m really proud about that.”

The initial goal of raising $3,000 was reached within the first 12 hours, said Woodruff, adding, “Since the bills are going to be in the area of 10 grand, we decided to increase it as we went along.”

“On one hand, I’m not surprised because Bay Ridge is an amazing community and we live in such a great neighborhood,” said Jordan. “That said, my expectations have been surpassed.To be able to raise $5,000 in under 24 hours was amazing, especially in the times we are living in.”

“Most of the people that have gotten involved, I don’t even know,” added Woodruff. “It’s just giving you a bit of faith in humanity again with all the stuff that is going on in the world.”

According to Brida, VERG’s nonprofit organization, Positive Tails, also helped out. “They’re a fantastic group of people who raise money for animals that have had unfortunate situations and we are lucky they can help financially with cases like these,” she said.

The entire incident hit very close to home, said Jordan, who told this paper, “I walk my dog right by there on the regular. My daughter goes to Fort Hamilton High School,so she’s constantly walking in the neighborhood with friends around there. It could’ve been any one of us.”

To donate, visit https://bit.ly/2vVH8fD.

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