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Gator's victim finds a home

Bindi is petted by her new owner, Bob Reina, chief executive of Talk Fusion. When Reina decided to pay for her emergency leg amputation last week, he didn’t intend to adopt her, but he “fell in love” when he visited her.

GEN YAMAGUCHI | Times

Bindi is petted by her new owner, Bob Reina, chief executive of Talk Fusion. When Reina decided to pay for her emergency leg amputation last week, he didn’t intend to adopt her, but he “fell in love” when he visited her.

TAMPA — Bindi, the shepherd mix who lost a leg to an alligator last week, is going home.

Her new owner is the man who paid for the dog's lifesaving amputation. Bob Reina said he's already adopted two dogs from a shelter and hadn't planned for a third.

"Then I visited her and fell in love," said Reina, 42. As he spoke, veterinarian Isabel Roese prepared to inject a computer chip the size of a grain of rice under the dog's skin.

Veterinarians needed 30 staples to close the wound caused by the alligator.

The saga started Wednesday when employees of a Mosaic plant reported seeing a dog hopping on three legs in the brush. Authorities pegged an alligator as the likely attacker.

The dog went from Animal Services to a private clinic, where veterinarians amputated the dog's left front leg, which had been reduced to exposed bone.

Reina, who owns a pair of technology companies, answered a request to pay for the operation. On Tuesday, he took the dog home.

"She deserves it," Reina said. "No. 1, she's a survivor. She has the will to live. And No. 2, she's got a sweet disposition."

The dog, who veterinarians say is in good health, looks to have landed on easy street. Reina said he will take the dog to work with him and allow her to sleep on the bed or wherever she wants.

"She will be spoiled to no end," Reina said.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at (813) 661-2431 or ameacham@sptimes.com.

Gator's victim finds a home 08/05/08 [Last modified: Sunday, August 10, 2008 12:25pm]
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