Nova Scotia

Dog lying in traffic rescued by passerby

A one-year-old dog is injured but safe after an animal lover found her lying in traffic on the MacKay Bridge in Halifax.

Cars drove over dog as it lay on the road

Sasha, a one-year-old Jack Russell mix, is recovering from injuries after running away from home. (CBC)

A one-year-old dog is injured but safe after an animal lover found her lying in traffic on the MacKay Bridge in Halifax.

Angela Smith was driving toward Dartmouth earlier this week when she noticed traffic had slowed suddenly, just beyond the tolls.

She saw a sight that took her breath away.

"People were driving over something and then I noticed, as I got closer, that it actually was a dog," Smith told CBC News on Friday.

"I saw a couple of cars just drive over her, kind of make sure that their car — that she was in the middle of their car or their tires didn't hit her or anything like that."

Smith assumed the dog had been hit by a car and was dead. She got out of the car to move the animal to the side of the road.

"To my surprise — and joy, in a way — she was still breathing. So I jumped out of my car and I just stopped traffic from going forward," said Smith.

"I had a blanket in the back of my car and put her on that and got her in the back seat."

Smith called the Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital and rushed the injured dog there.

Tire mark still visible

The one-year-old dog — a Jack Russell mix named Sasha — had a broken jaw, head trauma, an injured paw and tail and several scrapes. Several days after the ordeal, she still had a tire mark visible on one of hind legs.

While at the vet, Smith said she was consumed with thoughts of what might have happened if she hadn't stopped at the bridge.

"What if I saw her get hit and run over more, or somebody didn't angle their car right going over and finished the job?" she said.

"The way that I turned it for myself was that I just wanted to focus on something positive and raise money for the vet bill."

Angela Smith took Sasha to the vet. (CBC)
Smith turned to her friends on Facebook to help raise money for the little dog's care.

While Sasha was at the Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital, staff discovered she had a microchip implanted in the back of her neck.

That chip revealed contact information for the foster owner Sasha had been placed with in November.

"It's microchipped to the foster and animal rescue," said Annette Armitage of the Animal Rescue Coalition.

"When a dog — injured or not, or just a stray — arrives at animal control or a vet, you scan for a microchip and then you call the relevant numbers."

Sasha was originally brought to the Animal Rescue Coalition as a stray in Colchester County. The organization placed her as a foster dog with Leah Banks, a Dartmouth woman.

Just last week, Sasha was adopted by someone in Halifax. But the little dog had other plans for herself.

Several sightings, but no luck

When Banks got the call that Sasha had escaped her new home, she and her family began a frantic search in their Dartmouth neighbourhood. They suspected Sasha might be trying to make her way to where she was used to being on walks.

Banks said there were several sightings, but Sasha was not caught.

"She had run — in 45 minutes — from Halifax, I believe, Russell Street or somewhere around there, across the bridge, up Nantucket, up Slayter Street to where my father's house was, where we spent a lot of time," Banks said Friday.

"A fiery little dog, never in a million years would I have pictured this."

It was two days after that last sighting that Sasha lay in traffic on the MacKay Bridge.

"I don't think that Sasha was meant to die that day," said Smith.

"I think it was a way of getting her to Leah."

Smith, who has a Chihuahua named Zoey, said she plans to introduce her dog to Sasha when she's fully recovered.

Sasha's veterinary bills — more than $1,500 — have been paid for through Smith's fundraising efforts and contributions from Banks.

Banks, who plans to adopt Sasha permanently, said she's overwhelmed with gratitude that Smith decided to stop her car that day.

"I can't even describe it, I couldn't believe it," she said.

"Especially when I met her, she's a wonderful person. I was so incredibly thankful."