When a sheriff’s deputy witnessed a lost dog hit by a car on a busy highway, he rushed over and tried to rescue it. It was too difficult, however, to free the dog’s trapped paw—fortunately that’s when help arrived.
In January 2018, Deputy Stanislav Semenuk, a K-9 handler for the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, was on Northern California Highway 80 when he saw a dog darting across the rush-hour traffic. He knew he had to help the poor dog.
“I stopped immediately, and turned the lights on to try and get traffic to slow down,” Semenuk told The Dodo. “I got out of the car and tried to call him over to me. You could tell the poor pup was terrified.”
Though the cars started slowing down, something made the dog dart back into the traffic, and that’s when it collided with an oncoming car.
“It was hard. When I saw the impact, I thought, ‘This dog is not going to make it,’ because it happened right in front of me,” Semenuk recalled. “I thought, ‘There’s no way, there’s no way this dog is going to come out of this alive.’”
Semenuk saw that the dog had his paw rolled over by the car’s front tire and was trapped.
Semenuk ran over to stop the car. Right at that moment, help came.
“At that point, an off-duty [California highway patrol] officer sees what’s happening, and pulls over,” Semenuk said. “He asks if we need some help. And I say, ‘Yeah, we have to get this car off of this dog.’”
The officer grabbed a jack from his truck and jacked up the car.
When the car was jacked up high enough to free the dog, named Ruger, Semenuk wondered if Ruger would bite him if he lifted him up.
“I figured, ‘Hey, this dog’s in a lot of pain, he doesn’t know me. I’m probably going to get bit right now,’” Semenuk said. “But he didn’t do that, he was super calm, and I think he knew I was there to help.”
“The dog was awesome. He was a good boy, and let me touch him, pick him up and take him off the highway,” he added.
Semenuk carried Ruger to the shoulder of the highway and comforted him while waiting for animal control to arrive.
Fortunately, Ruger suffered no broken bones and was treated for road rash, swelling, and lacerations. He was later reunited with his owners, Colton Wilson and Corynn Welch, and they are grateful to the officers for saving Ruger.
“I’d love to thank them personally in person, but that’s awesome what they did they went above and beyond. Honestly, I’m so thankful,” Wilson told CBS Local.
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