Editor’s Note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on August 2, 2012. Enjoy!
Written by Ed Kostro of Illinois
I recently received a telephone call from an interstate truck driver concerning a starving injured dog lying in some deep brush next to a busy highway. “This poor dog has been lying out there for about a week now in this intense heat. Some of us have been stopping to give him food and water, but we can’t get anyone to go out there to rescue him. And he has a severely injured leg.”
So I soon decided to head out to the location on the interstate that this truck driver had given me, but I couldn’t find this injured dog anywhere after walking all along the shoulder searching for him. As I was about to sadly give up, I decided to whistle very loudly, and very thankfully, I soon spotted his head now cautiously peeking out of the tall brush.
I grabbed some food and water out of my truck and I sat down near him. After I placed the food into a dish and poured the cold water into a bowl, it wasn’t very long before he came hobbling out of his hiding place towards me. And now I could see that this poor dog’s right hind leg was extremely swollen and discolored, and he couldn’t put any weight on it at all. He had obviously been hit by a vehicle somewhere along this busy stretch of highway.
He was both ravenous and thirsty, and he ate and he drank heartily. When he was finished, he allowed me to place a loop leash around his neck, and he slowly hobbled back to my truck with me. I had to help him climb into it, and once he did, he soon fell fast asleep in my back seat.
And now, instead of taking him to an overflowing shelter, I decided to transport him to an animal hospital to have his leg examined. But once we arrived there, he refused to get out of my truck. I knew he was exhausted and in pain, and I’m sure that he was now enjoying the air conditioning inside my truck after lying on the side of that interstate in the intense 100 degree heat for many days.
I sat in the back seat with him, gently talking to him, and petting him, and eventually he let me help him out of my truck, and he very slowly and very timidly hobbled inside with me.
The staff at the animal hospital quickly scanned him for a microchip, and he had none. He also had no collar or tags. We all soon decided that he had been dumped somewhere along that highway before he was hit by a vehicle.
We also quickly discovered that he was infested with ticks and fleas from head to tail. X-rays of his leg indicated that he had a very severe break. Surgery would definitely be required to repair it.
I’ve named him ‘Highway’ and I’m very glad that I was able to find him and provide him with the medical attention that he desperately needed. We haven’t been able to place Highway with any of the overburdened rescue groups around here, so I brought him to my home yesterday from the animal hospital.
I had to construct a kennel for him in my basement and give my other dogs a crash course in accepting him in their midst. And to their amazing credit, they seem to understand that he is injured, and they have accepted him very readily. He, however, already wants to get out of his kennel to play with them. Unfortunately, he has to be on a very limited activity routine for the next 4-6 weeks with daily medications, and a once a week trip to the vet for a bandage change. Highway needs a good home.
Calling All Heroes – It’s Your Turn!
Ed Kostro is a seasoned volunteer rescuer who is called in to save the dogs no one else can get to. His work is powerful, inspiring and absolutely transformational for the animals he aids. We hope that others will be inspired by Ed and by all the other heroes who are taking part in The Great Animal Rescue Chase. Our mission is simple. We aim to encourage everyday animal lovers to take action, to roll up their sleeves when they see an animal in crisis. If you’ve helped an animal in distress, we want to hear about it.