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THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2006
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'Inside Edition' to air Lucky's tale of abuse, rescue

By Seth Burkett
DAILY Staff Writer

sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

"Inside Edition" will air the story of Lucky the dog Friday.

Crews filmed in Decatur on Wednesday and talked with those who played a role in helping Lucky.

Among those interviewed were veterinarian Dr. Steve Osborne, who amputated Lucky's badly injured leg, and Decatur police Sgt. Rick Archer, the detective who hunted down the dog's alleged abuser.

Lucky was found inside a trash bin Feb. 22 with his snout duct-taped and suffering from multiple injuries.

Samuel Sanders, whom police say wrapped Lucky in a trash bag and left him for dead after Sanders' pit bull attacked him, is currently out of jail on $26,500 bond. A grand jury indicted him last month on a felony charge of animal cruelty.

According to the "Inside Edition" Web site, the show will run at 3:30 p.m. on Friday on WHNT-19.

"With all the stuff they got, they could do a three-hour documentary," Osborne said.

"All along, they have said that their focus on the piece was Lucky's new owner, new family, new home and his existence from this point forward ... the happy ending, if you will," said Osborne.

Osborne recently announced that he would be Lucky's new owner, allowing the dog to continue to spend time at Osborne Animal Clinic, where the staff — including Kramer, a puppy who acts as the clinic's greeter — has become quite attached to him. Lucky will also divide his time between Osborne's Decatur home and Osborne's farm.

"It's really an opportunity to showcase Decatur as much as anything," said Osborne.

"Even though this was perpetrated by a citizen of Decatur, far more citizens of Decatur rose to the occasion to make it right, and it does have a happy ending. ... This is a perfect town for Lucky to spend the rest of his life, and I hope that's the way they present it."

Lucky, Osborne said, is exercising and undergoing deworming and vaccinations to make sure he stays healthy.

"He's gained 10 pounds over what he weighed when he came in, and you have to take into account that he lost one of his legs," Osborne said.

Lucky will soon undergo an operation to neuter him, but Osborne said the elective surgery is not at the top of the to-do list.

Lucky has made a few public appearances since his recovery from the amputation, but Osborne doesn't want to overdo it.

"He's getting offers to go everywhere and do all kinds of things. People want to use his picture. We may have to copyright his image or something," said Osborne.

Osborne said Lucky is bound to continue his work as an icon for animal treatment, but he hopes any fundraising Lucky participates in will go to the animal shelter.

Speaking of fundraising, the over $17,000 in reward money donated by people from across the country who were appalled by what happened to Lucky has yet to be disbursed.

One tip helped lead police to their arrest and the tipster will likely receive a cut of the reward money, Osborne said.

Anyone with more information in the case should come forward, because they too could receive a piece of the reward, Osborne said.

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