Staten Island inventor and passionate pet advocate pays hero dog’s veterinary bill for the miracle dog who took a bullet for his owner
Staten Island, NY (April 16, 2012) – On an ordinary Saturday just two weeks ago, Justin Becker and his girlfriend were returning home from running errands when they heard a knock at the door. A gentleman dressed as a FedEx delivery man with a package told Justin his scanner wasn’t working and asked if he would go inside and grab a pen to sign for the package. In just a few fateful minutes, shots would be fired; Justin and his girlfriend would narrowly escape injury and their precious pit bull Kilo would be shot in the head.
Thankfully, that’s not how the story ends. In fact, that’s just the beginning of an incredible story about a canine hero, his loving parents and an ironic twist of fate that brought two Staten Island dog lovers together.
“After I saw the gun and realized that this guy was up to no good, I pushed him back out of the door as hard as I could. He fell down in
the doorway and Kilo immediately went after him. He just knew we were in trouble,” says Kilo’s dad, Justin Becker of the events that transpired last Saturday afternoon. “This guy was stuck in the doorway and Kilo’s instinct was to protect us. Then I heard three gunshots and the guy was gone, running away. I felt the urge to
chase him, but the only thing I could think about was my dog – was Kilo shot?”
Immediately upon realizing that his dog had been struck in the head with a bullet, Justin and girlfriend Nicole rushed Kilo to the closest veterinarian; they didn’t even stop to
call the police. “Kilo was my first priority,” said Justin. “I knew that if I didn’t get him to a veterinarian right away, he would die.” They were referred to South Shore Animal Hospital where Dr. Machali Berenstein rushed to save Kilo’s life.
“Kilo is incredibly lucky,” says Dr. Berenstein, the veterinarian that treated Kilo upon arrival. “The trajectory of the bullet went in through the top of Kilo’s skull and out his neck without damaging any major organs. Pit bulls have very thick muscles in their heads which could have helped save Kilo’s life.” Dr. Berenstein first treated Kilo for shock when he arrived; she stabilized his vitals, gave him pain medications and prepared him for surgery with Dr. Meredith Berger. Dr. Berger explored the bullet wound and flushed out any potential infection the bullet may have caused. “Kilo’s owners should be commended for bringing him in so quickly – their prompt response saved Kilo a lot of complications. He is such a sweet dog and was an incredible patient, I’m just so glad no one else was injured during this altercation.” Kilo was amazing throughout this whole process,” said Justin. “He had just been shot in the head, but when the doctors needed to weigh him, he walked out himself and got on the scale. I just couldn’t believe his resilience. I knew that if he could go through all of this and save my life, I had to do everything in my power to save his. When they said Kilo’s bills totaled $2,200, I was shocked. But I didn’t hesitate; I was determined to find a way to stand up for Kilo the way he stood up for us.”
The same day Kilo was being treated at South Shore Animal Hospital, Staten Island inventor and dog lover Andrew Lanter was making a sales call just down the street from the hospital. Lanter is the CEO
and founder of FroBo, a new company that recently launched a water bowl for dogs that keeps water fresh and cold all day long. He was selling his new bowl to a Staten Island pet store chain when he heard
the news of Kilo’s heroic fight. An animal lover and passionate pet advocate, Andrew got in his car and drove to the hospital where Kilo was being treated.
“I didn’t know what I could do for this dog, but I felt compelled to do something. So I did the only thing I could do at the time and I dropped off several FroBos to help Kilo’s recovery. A new bowl that provides fresh, cold water was the least this dog deserved for what he had gone through. I just wanted to help.” When the two gentlemen met just a few days later, Kilo was already out of the hospital and recovering. Justin wanted to thank Andrew for the new bowls and Andrew wanted to meet this hero dog and share the news that FroBo had decided to pay Kilo’s entire vet bill.
“After speaking with my partners, we realized that we could do more than give Kilo new water bowls, we could pay this hero’s bill. We were also launching our coolest pet contest and I thought wow, Kilo is the epitome of the coolest pet, so I wanted to offer Kilo the position of FroBo Cop – FroBo’s first – and most heroic – coolest pet.”
As the two new friends chatted in Justin’s apartment, Andrew learned that Justin had actually moved into that apartment specifically for Kilo because other apartments he was considering wouldn’t accept
dogs. He also learned that Justin had fallen on hard times and was looking for a new career. “I thought, this couldn’t be more perfect – this guy is clearly passionate about dogs, he’s newly passionate about our
pet bowl, he has an incredible dog who is now our spokesdog, he needs a job — and I need a Staten Island sales rep!” And so begins a new relationship between two Staten Islanders – once strangers, brought together by
mild-mannered pit bull Kilo – newly anointed FroBo Cop and plain and simply, one of the world’s coolest pets.
“It’s not every day that fate twists and turns in just the right way,” says Andrew. “I can’t think of a better dog to launch my invention to the world. Saving his parents from a gunman was just the beginning – now we’re really going to put him to work!”
“Kilo can’t wait to get started,” says Justin. He’s humble, but his new superhero status really suits him.”
WATCH Kilo and Frobo on The View here: