Lake Oswego police officers, bystander aid in dog's rescue
Three-year-old Annie was almost a goner. The 7-pound maltese mix was left for dead after she was hit by a car around midnight on Stafford Road Sept. 19 — not even one day after her new owner had picked her from Oregon Dog Rescue in Tualatin.
The dog survived because of a bystander and three Lake Oswego police officers.
"It's total disbelief. I assumed she was gone forever," said her owner Karilyn Ruh, a California resident who's visiting her mother in Lake Oswego.
After the incident, Annie was quickly transported to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin after suffering a shattered leg and other minor fractures.
"Since she only weighs 7 pounds, it is a miracle that she survived," Ruh said. "Annie had surgery the following day (at the Veterinary Surgical Center of Portland). They used a metal plate and screws to put her leg back together."
Ruh had walked into the animal shelter Sept. 18 "just to look," she said. Ruh was heartbroken after losing her previous dog to Cushing's Syndrome. So when she saw Annie, resembling a small white lamb shaking in the corner in fear, Ruh said she couldn't leave the puppy.
But before Ruh left with her new furry friend, the animal rescue organization warned Ruh that the pup was a runner.
On Ruh's way home, she stopped at Luscher Farms to take her dog for a walk.
"After walking timidly on the leash for five minutes, she (Annie) suddenly pulled fiercely against the leash, which malfunctioned and disconnected from the collar," said Ruh, adding that the dog ran up and down the paths at Luscher Farm before she disappeared down Stafford Road. "The leash broke off the collar. It's nobody's fault, it just happened."
Ruh only had Annie in her possession for 20 minutes.
Ruh said she called the Lake Oswego Police Department, who searched the area but didn't locate Annie.
Around midnight, Nathan Morrison was driving and saw the dog running in the street. He stopped his car in the middle of the road and put on his blinkers so no one would hit the dog. But an oncoming car did not stop or see the dog, and hit Annie.
"A police car then pulled over to assist the driver (Morrison), who they thought was broken down," Ruh said.
Sergeants Michael Scott and Jacob Jones of the Lake Oswego Police Department saw the dog lying on the road and called Officer Brock Rosenthal to transport the dog to emergency care.
"I felt sad. I'm a dog person and I couldn't imagine how I would feel if my dog were in the same situation. I wasn't very hopeful with the dog's survival based on some of the injuries I saw but we all — Jones, Scott and I — wanted to try what we could to increase those survival chances," Rosenthal said in an email. "If the dog had been left or not cared for at all, I don't think the chances of survival were great. The dog was immobile from its broken leg and being the small dog it was, (it) would not have been able to defend itself against bigger predators."
Rosenthal added that LOPD deals with domestic pet situations often, especially during day shifts, but it's not often a pet is struck by a car.
"When it does happen," he said, "the end result isn't as positive as it was in this circumstance."
Ruh said Annie is recovering nicely and added that she's grateful the officers and the driver went above and beyond their call of duty.
"Without help from the Lake Oswego Police and the car that initially pulled over, the dog most certainly would not have survived given the sheer number of coyotes in the area," Ruh said. "It's just like a series of miracles."
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