Officer rescues injured dog on busy highway

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – A Florida police officer has been deemed a hero after he stopped traffic on a busy highway to rescue a dog that had just been hit by a car.

Officer Joseph Puglia of the Pinellas Park Police Department was driving to work Sept. 19 when he saw a dog get hit by a car on Interstate 275.

Immediately, Puglia “swerved over to block the dog from traffic.” His actions were captured on dashcam video.

Puglia noticed the dog was “showing signs of life.” As a result, he transported it to a nearby animal hospital.

“My heart really sank until I started seeing him breathing,” Puglia told WFTS. “I came back [in the SUV] and got an emergency blanket to wrap the dog in, because I didn’t want to hurt him any further.”

“After some medical examinations, the dog is expected to make a full recovery. The owner has not yet been located due to the dog not having a microchip or tag,” police wrote in a Facebook post. The pup suffered minor cuts and bruises.

Puglia said they nicknamed the dog “Lucky,” which he says applies because “he’s definitely one lucky dog.”

“This incident is just another example of the dedication and compassion our officers have for our four legged friends,” wrote the police department at the conclusion of the post.

Anyone with information on who the owner may be is urged to contact Pinellas County Animal Services at 727-582-2600.


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