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SPCA calls girl, 11, a hero for saving dog from trash

By jim Published: January 25, 2010

Eleven-year-old Serenity Rhoades loves animals, and can't understand why no one helped to save a severely beaten dog left for dead in a trash can at a York City park.

"It was sad," Serenity said. "I couldn't imagine if that happened to my dog. There was a lot of people walking by, and nobody tried to help it."

Serenity, of York City, was walking home from McKinley Elementary School on Thursday afternoon when she heard yelping coming from a garbage can in Bantz Park, in the city's west end. She looked in, spotted the dog and ran home to get her mother, Kim Williams.

They called 911, and an animal control officer responded to rush the adult West Highland terrier to the York County SPCA shelter in Emigsville, according to Melissa Smith, the SPCA's executive director.

"She's a hero," Smith said of Serenity.

If not for Serenity, the dog might have remained in the trash can for days, eventually dying of injuries, exposure or both, Smith said.

Initially, the dog's prognosis was "very, very uncertain," said Smith, who described the dog's wounds as "horrific" and "torturous."

But by Monday morning, Smith said it appears the abused dog will survive.

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