NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A dog is recovering from surgery after swallowing metal pins in food it found along a park path on the Upper West Side.
Ten sharp pins made their way inside the 66 pound golden retriever named Murphy after her owner says she ate discarded food and something else in Fort Tryon Park. The first incident happened Monday.
“She picked something up off the ground. I immediately went down to get whatever was out,” owner Terence Doherty said.
He said it was a dead bird with pins all over it.
“I looked in her mouth and there was nothing there,” he said.
On Tuesday, they went back to the park. Doherty said this time Murphy was near what looked like a burrito.
“The top was completely covered in pins also,” he said.
The next day, “she passed two pins.”
So Doherty raced 6-year-old Murphy to Lincoln Square Veterinary Hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery.
“I was terrified, I was terrified,” he said.
“The big risk is that they sort of migrate and they puncture something and sort of move through the abdomen. They could hit major organs, like the liver and the spleen, they could hit major vessels, like the aorta, and then that could be a fatality,” said Dr. Hilary Jones.
Murphy passed two on her own, but eight had to be removed from her stomach. Fortunately, the doctor said the pins didn’t puncture anything.
So how did pins get mixed up with food?
Doherty has a theory that someone intentionally put them there to harm an animal.
“There were pins stuck all through the tin foil inside the burrito, but they had opened the top so that an animal could get at the top of it,” he said.
Murphy is still in the animal hospital recovering, but should be going home soon. In 10-14 days, she should be back to her old self.
A spokesperson for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation said this is the first incident like this it can remember.
Gainer asked Doherty whether he will go back to the park.
“I have to, it’s a beautiful place,” he said.
He said he already kept a close eye on Murphy before, but now he’ll keep an even closer eye on the trash.
A surgery like the one Murphy underwent can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket.