At first, Chris Lopresto allowed himself the benefit of the doubt.
It's just too sickening to think that a person could intentionally throw a 14-pound dog from the window of a moving car.
"Could she have jumped?" Lopresto wondered.
On Wednesday, two good Samaritans walked into the East York Veterinary Center with an injured dog they'd seen thrown from one vehicle and struck by another in Hallam. Six days later, no one's come to claim the dog the nurses named Malibu.
If it was any kind of accident, the owner should have at least called by now, Lopresto, a veterinarian at the center, said.
"We never got those phone calls," he said Monday. "This does seem like a pretty heinous act."
When she arrived at the clinic, Malibu seemed to be in a state of shock, Lopresto said.
"She was just very uncomfortable, kind of fearful," he said.
But, on Monday, Malibu wagged her tail as Lopresto held her and talked.
"She's still ..." Lopresto said, losing his train of thought during an assault of doggie kisses "Thank you for that."
Malibu is a bit stiff, a little skinny and still recovering from a bad case of fleas. But, surprisingly, Malibu did not suffer any broken bones or major injuries from her ordeal. Her cuts are healing nicely, and a sore leg didn't stop her from struggling out of Lopresto's arms to bark at a cranky cat.
Malibu is an "opinionated" dog who isn't crazy about taking pain pills. She prefers treats, eagerly kisses strangers. And, even though she'd rather be socializing, Malibu happily curls up in a ball of blankets when Lopresto coaxes her into a crate.
"She's much more like a normal dog now," he said. "She seems to be healing quite well."
An adorable mix of what seems like Chihuahua, beagle and maybe some terrier, Malibu is estimated to be about a year old. Lopresto said the clinic will probably care for her another two weeks before finding a new home for her.
The York County SPCA will investigate if any tips come in about what happened to Malibu and who might be responsible. So far, none have, executive director Melissa Smith said Monday.
Since news of Malibu's plight got out, several people have already called about adopting her, Lopresto said.
Anyone interested in adopting Malibu or donating to offset the costs of her medical care can contact the East York Veterinary Center at (717) 840-1025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Erin James may also be reached at email@example.com.