When it comes to dogs, Placer County Sheriff’s deputy Stan Semenuk is just a big softie.
The K-9 handler knows his 4-legged partner very well, as he does all canine creatures.
So when he was driving on Interstate 80 in Northern California, in the middle of the morning rush-hour, he didn’t think twice about the dog he saw running across the east-bound lanes, then leaping the center divider, then scurrying across west-bound traffic.
“I immediately pulled over and tried to help the poor buddy out,” Semenuk told InsideEdition.com Friday. “I started calling the little guy over to me. He was just scared out of his mind.”
The dog, a young bloodhound, didn’t come. Instead he shot back into traffic, where he was hit by a car and dragged underneath.
A front tire ran over the pooch and pinned his paw.
Semenuk walked onto the freeway lanes and “started waving my arms to get people to stop.” He pulled his cruiser behind the trapped dog and turned on its flashing lights so drivers would slow down.
An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer stopped and offered to help. “We need to get this car off this dog,” Semenuk yelled to him. The trooper shouted that he had a jack.
“I said, ‘Sweet, dude, get it out.’”
And then they went to work.
Semenuk was able to jack the car high enough to release the bloodhound’s paw while the CHP officer directed traffic around the stopped vehicles.
“I was just talking to the little puppy, trying to calm him down because he was crying and whining and in a lot of pain,” he said.
Eventually, he was able to get a leash around the dog’s neck and pick him up. The deputy carried the bloodhound to the side of the road, where he waited for an animal control truck to pick up the dog and carry him to a veterinarian.
The dog’s owner pulled up about the same time as the animal control folks.
The owner, whose house abuts the freeway, had seen all the activity and realized that her dog, Ruger, had escaped the backyard through a hole in the fence.
“We told her to just follow the animal control unit down to the vet’s,” Semenuk said.
Video of the incident, taken by Semenuk’s dash cam, was posted on the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page, where it went viral.
All the attention flummoxes Semenuk.
“That’s what we do. That’s our job,” he said. “Seeing a dog get hit like that, it’s not an easy thing. But I would have done that for any dog.”