As soon as Michael Koemm saw the dark SUV pull over as someone tossed an object out the window, he knew something wasn’t right.
Koemm, 22, of Coram, had been driving east to work on Middle Country Road early Wednesday. It was dark and snowing when he pulled over to the spot.
“It was a puppy,” he said. “I approached her and she came right over to me.”
The spark of warmth between them grew throughout the day as Koemm determined the tan pup had no collar or ID chip. He didn’t want to see the dog placed in a shelter, so he named her Elsa after the princess in the movie “Frozen” and took her home.
“I’m going to spoil her, she’s so adorable,” he said.
So a morning that could have ended terribly for the 8-week-old dog, which looks like a mix between a pit bull and a chihuahua, was transformed into the little canine’s lucky day. Really lucky, considering that Koemm works as a veterinary assistant at East End Veterinary Center in Riverhead.
After he saw the dog thrown out the window, he took her into his car, wrapped her in a blanket and turned up the heat. His training led him to check the color of the dog’s gums, which were white. They should be pink. Then he transported the shivering dog straight to the vet center.
The staff took the dog’s weight, temperature, respiration rate and pulse and declared Elsa to be a mighty healthy pooch. In a short while her gums turned back to pink, he said.
In the meantime, Koemm filed a report with the police, providing the officer with the description of the SUV and the first few letters on the license plate.
Beyond his joy at finding a new companion, Koemm said he is livid at the SUV driver for throwing a puppy out into the snow and cold.
“It’s abuse,” he said. “What happened to her is heartbreaking.”
He also alerted the Suffolk County SPCA.
For now, Elsa has calmed down and is expected to be taken home soon.
Koemm said he planned to pick up a bunch of new toys for her and will be introducing Elsa to her big brother, his other mutt — a Rottweiler-shepherd-pit bull mix named Bandit.