Small dog caught after I-55, Harlem run

July 3, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The dog eluded Illinois State Police troopers and IDOT crews on the Stevenson Expressway early Tuesday morning, tying up traffic on I-55 until it exited at Harlem.

The dog, which has a collar, ran in and out of traffic for at least half an hour on the inbound side of the expressway between Cicero and Harlem. The animal exited at Harlem and then continued running around that area after stopping to drink out of a puddle at an auto mechanic shop.

A trooper got close to the frightened animal on the expressway, but it ran away. It took several people to track the animal to an area near Harlem and 65th Street, where the tired pup finally gave up and was given water.

Some of the people who joined the effort saw the story on the morning news and left their nearby homes to help.

"I called my mom. I said, do you see him, do you see him?' She said, he's back on Harlem going south. I said, where is he? She said, on 63rd. So I rush to 63rd and then she says he's on 65th," said Jose Terriquez.

Terriquez scooped up the dog and handed him off to Ed Kostro who was thankful that the dog was out of harm's way and that so many people sprang into action.

"There were several people already. Thank God we still have some compassionate people trying to get her," said Kostro.

Kostro put the dog, who was dehydrated and suffering from an injured paw, in his back seat and took him to the vet. Rescuing stray dogs and placing them in loving homes has been Kostro's mission since he first did that after Hurricane Katrina.

"These dogs break my heart, especially the ones that are dumped because of the economy," said Kostro.

Kostro took the dog to Pulaski Animal Center. There he was thoroughly examined with staff discovering that he had been microchipped. They figure he had been on the streets for a few weeks.

"The paw, we just clipped it and I don't see any major wounds. It will be OK," said Dr. Stan Kalata, veterinarian.

The vet's office is running tests to make sure the dog is healthy and at the same time is trying to track down his owner.

Kostro plans to keep tabs on the dog, but for now is satisfied that he's in good hands.

The vet's office says the microchip is registered to a breeding facility in Iowa. They are hoping to find the pet store in this area that was supplied with the dog and, in turn, the person who bought the dog from the store. They think the dog is a mix of Ilahsa-Apso and Bichon, about two years old.

Many people have already called the vet to see if the dog is theirs, but their microchip numbers don't match.

The dog did bite someone during the chase, so it's standard for him to be monitored for the next several days.

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