In separate incidents, two dogs have been found and gotten second chances at life after they were struck by vehicles and fled the scenes.
Red heeler Ernie was out for a walk with his owners, Lauren Shepard and Zac Wilkinson in Boulder, Colorado on Tuesday evening. The couple was waiting to cross an intersection when Ernie became spooked by something and slipped his leash. He ran into traffic and was hit by a car, but managed to keep running. Wilkinson was hit by another car in his pursuit of Ernie.
Witnesses tried to catch the frightened and injured dog while Shepard accompanied her husband to the hospital to treat his broken ribs. Later, Shepard posted pictures of their dog and sought the help of her friends in the search. But Ernie could not be caught.
On Wednesday morning, Ernie surprised the occupants of a household by turning up on their porch. They covered him with a blanket and contacted animal control. Ernie’s microchip was scanned and he was returned to his worried owners.
Shepard is thankful to the community effort of trying to find Ernie. He has a small leg fracture, but is otherwise healthy. He is resting with Wilkinson.
“They’ve spent a lot of time on the couch together,” Shepard said. “They’re both on pain meds, so they’re both a bit loopy right now.”
In York, Maine, a two-year-old German Shepherd named Rollie went missing after he was hit by a truck on Wednesday. He was out with a dog-walker when he spotted a squirrel and broke his collar in his excitement. The truck that hit him did not stop, and neither did Rollie.
Owner Meg Nichols put Rollie’s picture on Facebook, asking for help bringing her wounded dog home. She was accompanied by police officer Jay Durgin, his K-9 partner and over 40 other volunteers on a ground search for Rollie.
“I couldn’t believe people came with their own dogs in search of our dog,” Nichols said. “I was just struck by the support. People were out there, eight, 10 hours a day.”
Early Friday morning, Nichols was preparing to search again when she received the call from her husband David telling her that Rollie had been found, and was alive. A woman who recognized Rollie from a flyer in her town saw him running near Flo’s Hot Dogs, four miles from where the accident took place.
“If we had known he wanted a hot dog, we would have gotten him one!” Nichols said, elated.
She and David took him to an emergency veterinarian clinic, where it was determined that Rollie had lacerations and swelling on a hind leg, as well as a tear in one lung, but no bone breakage.
“He was definitely dazed and confused,” Nichols said. “We were just lucky he did not have an internal injury.”
He should be well enough to return home by Saturday.
“We have a cat that may be a little disappointed he’s home,” Nichols said.
She is grateful for all the help she received in the search and in bringing him home. She knew her community would be there to help, but this went above and beyond what she expected.
“We live in a special community,” Nichols said. “I’ve lived in York a long time and never realized it.”