July 18, 2009

Woman saves 5-legged dog from sideshow

A Charlotte, N.C., woman saus she paid $4,000 for a five-legged puppy to save it from a life on display in a sideshow featuring animal freaks.

Allyson Siegel told The Charlotte Observer she plans to pay another $2,000 to have the dog's extra leg surgically amputated.

The puppy, a Chihuahua-terrier mix now named Lilly, is about 6 weeks old. The owner, Calvin Owensby, a laid-off electrician who lives in Gastonia, had agreed to sell the puppy to John Strong, who runs a sideshow exhibit on Coney Island in New York.

Siegel, when she heard about the puppy, agreed to match the $3,000 Strong offered plus another $1,000 because Owensby had to return Strong's $1,000 deposit.

The extra leg, which is between Lilly's two back legs, interferes with walking but has no nerves.

Siegel, who already has six cats, plans to give Lilly to her sister.

Strong is resigned to missing a chance at an incredibly rare five-legged dog.

Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine-live, two-headed animals,' and move on, he said.