By David Highfield


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – They say cats have nine lives, but one dog is lucky to be alive after a nearly 200-foot fall off the Parkway East.

Ophelia, a pit bull mix had a rough day Tuesday.

It started when she somehow wound up walking along the Parkway near Monroeville.

Nearby resident Harold West tells KDKA-TV, “I’m riding down to the stop sign and I saw these people trying to help a dog and asked me for some help to call 9-1-1. I saw the dog laying there which I thought it was hit by a car. Then another lady came driving past and said the dog jumped the bridge.”

That’s right: the dog jumped off the Parkway overpass and landed nearly 200 feet below.

E-M-S crews responded.

Woodland Hills EMS Director Frank Mastandrea says, “We were flagged down on one of the side roads by a woman who said she saw a dog walking on the Parkway. She went out to try to get him off the road but he got scared and jumped over the berm on the road to the street below. It was about a 150-200 foot drop.”

Mastandrea has been an E-M-T for nearly 20-years but says he’s never seen a case like this. “We were looking at the distance the dog fell and pretty much thought we were looking at a bad case,” he adds. “But when we got there she was just lying there whimpering.”

Woodland Hills E-M-S rushed the dog to Avets in Monroeville which treated her internal bleeding.

Then it was on to Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Shelter where she got a blood transfusion.

Vets there say Ophelia still needs surgery to fix her two broken front legs.

Angie Fry of Woodland Hills EMS says, “They’re not sure if they’re going to do both at the same time because that requires extensive down time… and with dogs that’s difficult… or whether they’re going to do one at a time.”

Surgery will cost around $8,000, so the EMS crew set up an account to help pay the bill.

Vets say Ophelia appears to be a stray.

She had no ID and no microchip, but she will soon have a new home because one of the paramedics plans to adopt her.

Fry says, “When you look into those big brown eyes of hers and she just looked so sad. The crew just fell in love with her. We help people but it’s great when we get an opportunity to help an animal as well.”

So far, the GoFundMe site has raised nearly $9,000 to pay for Ophelia’s medical bills.

If you’d like to donate, click here.

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David Highfield