Dog injured in rollover starts physical therapy

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The service dog critically injured in a suspected DWI crash over a week ago could be discharged within the next few days.

Tango was ejected from an SUV in an early morning rollover crash near the Route 66 Casino on March 20. His owner, Leonard Day, wasn’t seriously hurt, but Tango was critically injured.

Day is charged with extreme animal cruelty, and could face a DWI charge once blood test results come in.

The service dog’s pelvis and rear legs were broken, his lungs punctured. Tango has undergone two surgeries, and began physical therapy Friday. He’s also walking with a special harness that supports his rear end.

Veterinarians are hopeful Tango might be able to walk without assistance in three to four weeks.

“He might not be able to return as a service dog if his physical limitations prevent that, but I’m sure he’ll be a fantastic addition to any family he goes to,” said Dana Espinoza, the technical supervisor at the VCA Animal Hospital.

Espinoza said Tango should be discharged on Tuesday to go back to Freedom Service Dogs in Colorado. She said the organization will pay for his medical bills, though they could use donations as the cost is in the thousands. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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