The black truck barreled down the 780 freeway in Northern California, dragging something behind it. As Angie Porter drew closer, she realized it was a dog. The young pup bounced against the side of the truck, its paws savagely dragging against the pavement.
Porter and her 13-year-old son, River, told The San Jose Mercury News how they followed the black Chevrolet with the tinted windows for nearly a mile, sounding the horn and screaming at the driver.
"The dog was being strangulated and dragging on the freeway and flopping around on the side of the truck. He seemed to be dying," Porter said.
When the two vehicles neared the Glen Cove exit, the driver of the Chevy turned off the freeway. Just then the rope around the young German Shepherd’s neck broke. The puppy fell and flipped several times before slamming into the concrete wall of the offramp.
She had considered that the driver might have taken the exit because he became aware of the dog’s plight, but to her amazement, he simply drove off.
Porter, who has several dogs herself, ran to the injured pup and covered him with her coat. His legs were twisted, road rash covered his body, but he was still breathing. No collar encircled his neck. Just the remains of the rope.
Animal services arrived soon thereafter and took the young dog to a local veterinary hospital
Now called "Freeway," the six-month old purebred German shepherd is healing. Although his back right leg had to be amputated due to a nasty fracture, veterinarians predict a normal, happy life for Freeway, noting that many similarly challenged dogs and cats learn to get along just fine.
The Humane Society paid for Freeway’s surgery and never even considered euthanizing the dog. HS Executive Director Peter Wilson says that Freeway will be put up for adoption after he recuperates for a few months in a foster home.
"When I learned how sweet the dog is, even in excruciating pain, I felt this dog deserves a chance and shouldn't suffer and lose its life because of the irresponsible individual who didn't stick around afterward," Wilson said.
The Humane Society has started a fundraiser for Freeway through its Maya Fund. To help Freeway, log on to www.hsnb.org, click donate, then click on the Maya Fund.
Anyone who has more details on the incident or the driver who left Freeway on an Interstate 780 off-ramp is asked to call Vallejo Animal Control at (707) 645-7906.
If police ever locate the driver of the truck that dragged this German Shepherd down the freeway, what do you think his or her punishment should be?
Jocelyn Heaney is an English instructor, animal activist and freelance writer for L.A. Review of Books and Warner Bros. Pictures, among others. Her favorite animals are great white sharks, horses and all cats. She is currently at work on a memoir. Email Jocelyn | @JocelynHeaney