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Media Releases

Doctors Recover $1.11 in Pennies after Robbery

Published: March 12, 2013

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 Mar. 12, 2013

NEW YORK – The investigation is closed and charges will not be filed against a Manhattan burglar who ingested 111 pennies Saturday.

Jack Kelleher, a four-legged, 13-year-old Manhattan native, had to have the stashed loot removed by doctors from a specialty and emergency veterinary hospital here.

Jack allegedly stashed the loot when his human, Tim Kelleher, wasn’t looking.

The Jack Russell terrier almost made a clean getaway until the heavy plunder caused him to develop an upset stomach and vomit, which exposed some of the evidence.

In light of the developments, Tim took his beloved pooch, and prime suspect, to BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospital in Manhattan for further investigation.

Veterinarians from BluePearl took X-rays and found what looked like additional foreign objects inside of the dog and recommended emergency endoscopy to remove the objects. Endoscopy is a non-invasive procedure using a scope with a camera, which is safer and easier to recover from than surgery.

Once inside with the scope, Dr. Suliman Al-Ghazlat, a board-certified internal medicine specialist with BluePearl, was able to extract four to five coins at a time until all 111 were removed.

The procedure to retrieve the heisted currency lasted approximately two hours. During that time, Jack was monitored closely under anesthesia.

Besides the danger of blocking the intestines and creating gastrointestinal problems, pennies minted after 1982 are mainly made out of zinc and are considered to be toxic to pets. The zinc inside of pennies can cause damage to the kidneys, liver and red blood cells.

“Early and safe removal was absolutely imperative to Jack’s health,” said Dr. Amy Zalcman, a senior emergency doctor at BluePearl, who oversaw Jack’s treatment. “If Jack would not have had the pennies removed, the consequences would have been fatal.”

Frankie’s Friends charitable pet foundation contributed to help pay for Jack’s emergency procedure.

If you’d like to help save the life of a pet whose family cannot afford the cost of medical care visit www.frankiesfriends.com or call 888.465.PETS.

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners

Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and employs more than 1,200 people including approximately 250 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals are referral-only and don’t provide primary care. Most BluePearl hospitals offer 24-hour emergency care services. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship educational programs. BluePearl also participates in and conducts clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments, which give clients access to cutting-edge medicine not yet commercially available and improves the quality of care delivered to our patients.

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