The Dog Who Wouldn't Die


Aug 8, 2008
Last Updated: November 09. 2010 1:00AM

Euthanized dog who wouldn't die will be going to new home

Francis X. Donnelly / The Detroit News

Redford Township— A Rottweiler that was supposed to die on the cold slab of a veterinarian office will live the rest of her life in the country.

As Mia frolics with other Rottweilers on an 8-acre farm outside Hillsdale, she will be free of some of the pain that had hobbled her.

Both the new home and medical treatment followed a deluge of support from around the world as people reacted to news accounts last month of The Dog Who Came Back to Life.

After Mia was seemingly euthanized, owner Matt Olivarez took her lifeless body home to bury but was startled the next day to discover the dog on all fours staring at him.

Responding to the story, people and animal groups from as far away as England gave donations, advice, prayers and offers such as adopting Mia and giving her medical treatment.

"Everything is going in our direction," said Olivarez, 27. "It's amazing to see how many people care."

Among the 100 people reacting to the story was Karen Cole, 48, a paralegal from Dripping Springs, Texas, near Austin.

She wanted to take off from work, fly to Detroit, pick up Mia, rent an SUV and drive all the way back to Texas. She doesn't trust the way airlines care for pets.

"It might a bit crazy, but it's for the dogs," she said. "I figured if I could give her a week of good life or two years of good life, I'd be lucky to have her."

Cole had to have her cancer-ridden Rottweiler euthanized three months ago.

But Olivarez opted to give Mia to a family he already knew. The new owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, will take the dog in several weeks.

Financially pressed and losing his home to foreclosure, Olivarez is moving to a Detroit apartment that doesn't allow pets.

The 11-year-old Mia suffers myriad medical problems, some age related.

She has a ruptured disk in her spine. Her right rear leg is partly paralyzed. She has arthritis in her hips and spine.

"She's nowhere near normal and never will be normal,'' said Richard Caputo, a Dearborn Heights veterinarian who is treating her.

The ailments left Mia immobile, in pain and uninterested in eating. Lacking the money to help her, Olivarez decided to have her euthanized last month.

The botched euthanasia was performed by Westcott Veterinary Care Center in Detroit, which declined comment.

Under Caputo's care, which included steroid injections, Mia seems to be recapturing some of her youth, said Olivarez's mom, Brenda Shead.

She has regained her appetite, slurping up bowlfuls of roast chicken, rice and gravy.

"She's back to her silly self," said Shead. "We have a fighter. She always has been."

The medical bills have been paid from $900 donated by animal lovers throughout the U.S.

Denise Santoro was one of several people who used Facebook and other online sites to spread the word of Mia's plight.

Santoro, 46, a machine operator at a plastic injection factory in Rosendale, N.Y., also was the person who had suggested that the lethargic Mia be fed chicken and rice.

She said she cried when she first heard about the dog's ordeal.

"As far as I was concerned, Mia had to be saved," she said.

"This dog got a second chance at life. It doesn't get better than this."

From The Detroit News:

Even for those who aren't big on dogs, this story will tug at you.


Apr 19, 2006
That's crazy. Did he bury the dog and she dug herself out or he just left her carcuss to be buried at a later date??