Dog that stopped traffic on I-17 Tuesday morning still not found

Posted at 5:54 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 14:19:55-04

It is the slowest, yet most compelling "chase" the Valley has seen in quite a while.

"It was probably maybe a 10 pound, little, white dog from what we could tell," said Trooper Kameron Lee with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Around 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Lee said they received a call from a driver that a dog was sitting on the wall on Interstate 17 near Glendale Avenue. 

The dog was very still; kind of blending into the wall as the ADOT traffic cameras were rolling, catching the whole incident on camera. 

A service unit employee with DPS was the first one to arrive on scene. That employee tried wrangling the dog on his own, but Lee said the dog was staying put and not really moving toward or away from the employee.

From there, DPS called for another unit to arrive and try to help. A motorcycle officer arrived on scene shortly after. Lee explained that the dog had jumped down from the wall and was running around. 

"The thing that we run into with this is, if they were to run into the road people are going to start breaking for it because no one wants to hit a dog," Lee said. "And that just causes the chain reaction of collisions and things like that." 

So, they then called a third trooper out to the scene to conduct a traffic break.

"This is where they weave lane to lane to slow traffic down and eventually get it to stop," Lee explained. 

This gave all three DPS personnel roughly 10 minutes to try and catch the dog. 

"I think we tried to coax him in and then when we got a little bit closer he decided, 'Nevermind I don't want anything to do with that I'm getting out of here!'"

With no luck, DPS decided to try and guide the dog off the freeway. That worked, but the dog made a break for it into a nearby neighborhood. 

DPS said, they were unable to find the dog from there and alerted Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

They sent their officers out to search, as well. It is a call Cody Howard tells ABC15 they get very often for strays.

"At least 8-10 a day, I would assume, if we're busy," Howard said. "There's time when we go up to 15-20 calls per day per officer." 

Howard was not called out to the scene Tuesday morning on I-17, but described protocol on calls like that for ABC15. He said that since there was not a strong description of the area the dog was last scene, officers there can only spend 15-30 minutes searching. 

"We can only spend some time looking for one single dog when we have 15 other calls sitting in our box," Howard said. 

For example, Howard had six animals he had to rush off to take care of.

ABC15 followed along with Howard as he stopped at a Phoenix home. A woman had called saying that a dog had burrowed underneath her home and had given birth to five puppies. 

All of them are now safe and receiving care at the shelter. 

As for our freeway furry friend, MCACC asks that you contact them if you have seen the dog. That way, they can continue searching.