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ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

A puppy trapped on Valley Freeway during rush hour traffic owes his life to Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) reporter Gil Estrada. Initially Estrada watched helplessly via traffic cam from Phoenix’s Traffic Operations Center as the dog meandered through traffic.

“It was hard to watch,” Estrada told KNXV-TV. “The dog kept getting so close to being hit.”

When the pup managed to cross to the highway median on State Road 51 at Thunderbird Road, Estrada hopped in his car and raced to her rescue.

“I didn’t know if it was gonna bite at me, take off and run, or get on the other side of the freeway where I couldn’t help it at all,” Estrada said. “I approached gently and talked gently and luckily positive things happened.”

When Estrada returned to his desk later that day, he had the dog by his side. Officials said the canine was unhurt, but they couldn’t locate its owner due to the lack of a collar or microchip. One of the center’s supervisors took the pup home for the night and Arizona Equine Rescue Organization (AERO) contacted ADOT the following day.

“We may normally do large animal rescue, but something about this puppy’s situation motivated us to branch outside of the norm,” AERO wrote on Facebook.

AERO temporarily named her Dottie, in honor of the ADOT employee that rescued her. If the owner doesn’t come forward soon, the dog will be up for adoption.

“She’s just a wonderful dog,” ADOT employee Tom Herrmann said. “She’s friendly and loving.”

If you’re interested in adopting Dottie, visit AERO’s website.

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