Another Arizona rescue story has caught the attention of Sunbear Squad and resulted in a Gene Fields Humane Award for the Good Samaritan at the heart of it.
In March of 2011. Carmel Travis, a Washington state resident, was visiting her mother in Arizona, when she noticed a dog on the side of the I-10 freeway, in the West Valley. She could not immediately pull over because of traffic, but instead headed to the next exit, purchased some items that she hoped would assist in rescuing the dog, and went back to look for her. Sure enough, the dog was still there, in the same spot.
Carmel details this amazing rescue in her words:
“I was concerned she was injured and I saw she was not wearing a collar. I did not want to approach her from the freeway side as I was concerned she would run. Fortunately I located a dirt access road that traced the top side of the wall. We parked there, and I got out and peered down over the side of the wall to establish her location as I wanted to be downwind from her. I knew the chance of her smelling me was greater than the chance of her hearing me due to the roar of the traffic.
I made a noose out of the nylon rope and smeared chicken on it so it would smell like chicken, not me. I peeked over the side of the wall to see what she was doing, then dropped a piece of chicken near her. She ate it. I continued dropping pieces of chicken to distract her as I began lowering the noose down the side of the wall. I was concerned she would become startled and run into traffic if I didn’t capture her on the first try. I got the noose over her neck the first try!
She just looked up at me calmly. It was obvious her left rear leg was injured since it was dangling from her hip. Her rib cage and spine were protruding from her emaciated body. She had an open wound on her hip and a black tire mark on her forehead.
I stood on top of the wall holding the rope with the dog attached, trying to decide my next step. This apparently was worrisome to a kind passerby, Janet, who thought I was going to pull the dog up the wall by her neck. She exited the freeway and made her way back to us, parking below the wall near the dog. I could hardly believe my good fortune. We discussed options for helping the dog—and then a policeman pulled in behind her car. He told us the dog would be euthanized if we took her to the county shelter as there would not be enough money in the budget to repair her leg. We could not bear the thought so we decided to save this dog ourselves.”
Instead of leaving the dog she came to name Angel at the pound, Carmel went on to have her injuries treated, including a costly surgery, searched high and low for an owner, and attempted to find a rescue that could take her in. Unfortunately, given the short amount of time, Carmel was unable to find a rescue to take Angel, and an owner was never found.
Without a rescue to take Angel, Carmel was in a quandary. What would happen to Angel now that she was due to leave Arizona? In Carmel’s mind, there wasn’t even a question. Angel would come home with her to Washington.
Carmel cancelled her flight, since Angel would not be able to safely travel by air post-surgery, and rented a car, trekking hundreds of miles home with her new charge, to Puyallup, Washington, where she runs The Lucas House – “an apartment for people and their pets to stay whilst undergoing treatment at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Teaching Hospital” – a bed and breakfast that charges no pet fees.
Angel still resides with Carmel while a permanent home is sought, and she has fit in very nicely into her new accommodations, states Carmel. “She is a good girl, silly, sweet-natured and she obviously loves our other dogs and cats. She also accompanies me to work each day.”
To read Carmel and Angel’s full story on the Sunbear Squad site, click here: “Rescuing an Angel.”
“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” ~William Penn
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