Sherman, the dog tossed from a speeding pickup truck on Route 30 Saturday morning, underwent surgery for his injuries on Monday afternoon - and faces another, more serious operation before he's out of the woods.
"He is in stable condition at this point," Becki Meiss, director of marketing for the Humane League of Lancaster County, said Monday. "His overall prognosis is optimistic."
An East Hempfield woman driving on Route 30 saw the dog - a male, tan-colored Shiba Inu, estimated to be between 4 and 5 years old - being thrown from a silver-gray pickup truck about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The incident took place in the westbound lane between the Rohrerstown and Centerville exits, near the Marietta Pike overpass.
She estimated the truck was moving between 45 and 50 mph when the dog was thrown from an open door.
Although the woman didn't see the truck's license or get a good look at the people inside, she stopped to help the injured dog and transported it to the League for care.
League staff members named the dog Sherman.
Danielle Ball, director of operations, said Sherman has a fractured pelvis and dislocated hip, as well as numerous lacerations and bruising.
"It's one of the worst cruelty cases I've ever seen," Ball said.
Humane League veterinarian Dr. Bryan Langlois is monitoring his condition and is considering surgical options, which could include repairing shattered bones and relocating the hip bone, Meiss said.
Monday's surgery was fairly minor, although it did require anesthetic, she said.
Langlois cleaned multiple cuts and abrasions sustained in the incident, Meiss said. "There was dirt and road debris matted into his fur and open wounds."
Langlois is consulting with other veterinarians about the best plan for Sherman's more serious injuries, she said.
"We're looking specifically at how best to put his hip back in place. We're not sure how to proceed there … but it looks like he will need (another) surgery," she said.
"We also want to be sure he's well enough and strong enough to undergo that more extensive surgery."
Sherman also is being monitored for internal injuries, which might not yet be apparent.
"It's a wait-and-see situation," Meiss said. "We don't want to do anything too quickly and risk setting him back."
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Langlois said Sherman "is very lucky to have survived and his long-term prognosis is good. After he undergoes surgery to repair his hip, he will likely recover in a Humane League foster home for six to eight weeks before being available for adoption."
Langlois estimated the cost of Sherman's medical care at $1,500 to $2,000. Donations to the League's Animal Rescue Fund can be made online at www.humaneleague.com.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call the League at 393-6551. Meiss said the dog was not wearing a collar or ID tag when found.
Because the Shiba Inu is a fairly rare breed, she said, they hope someone will recognize the dog and identify the owner.
Meanwhile, there may be more than one person claiming to be the dog's owner.
At least one woman has already come forward claiming to own Sherman, Meiss confirmed.
"We are speaking with several individuals concerning his ownership," she said. "But we have not yet positively identified the owner of this dog."
Keith Mohler, an animal cruelty officer, is investigating, Meiss said.