Homeless dog living in NYC park to be released to new owner

NEW YORK – Charlie, the shepherd mix rescued by concerned neighbors from a New York City park, is scheduled to be discharged to his new owner from the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Manhattan Thursday evening.

Dr. Boaz Levitin, a board-certified veterinary neurologist at BluePearl who has been treating Charlie, said the dog’s condition has improved and he’s much better hydrated. But after 10 years of living in the wild, Charlie seems overwhelmed by his new surroundings.

“Medically, Charlie is doing okay,” said Levitin. “Mentally, he still feels as though he was abducted by space aliens.”

Tina Ilmet is among the many local residents who has come to know Charlie, who lived between Highbridge Park and Inwood Hill Park. She has agreed to assume responsibility for him and said she’ll provide him with a safe home.

Charlie has been living outside for the past 10 years, according to neighborhood residents. As temperatures dropped over the weekend, their concerns about his well-being grew. On Sunday, a group was able to usher him into a van so that he could receive veterinary care, according to news reports.

The biggest obstacle Charlie faces now is that he is refusing to eat. Doctors and Ilmet hope his appetite will improve once he’s in a quieter environment. If not, Ilmet said she’ll bring him back to BluePearl within 24-48 hours for more treatment.