Calif. police rescue dog who had been living on highway median for 5 weeks

The dog was dubbed 'Freeway Frida'

By Cathy Locke
The Sacramento Bee

GALT, Calif. — A German shepherd rescued from the Highway 99 median in Galt has gone from stray to star in less than a week.

In announcing Monday that they had caught the dog motorists had reported seeing off and on in the median for more than five weeks, Galt police hoped to find the owner. As of Thursday, the owner of the dog, dubbed Freeway Frida, had not been identified, but her story had attracted nationwide attention.

“ ‘ABC World News’ called and ‘Good Morning America,’ ” said Officer Sylvia Coelho, who participated in Frida’s rescue Saturday. Coelho has been fielding phone and email inquiries about Frida from people across the country.

Frida was found with a broken leg, believed to have been suffered in a fall from a truck. She also was malnourished and dehydrated. For weeks, she had eluded officers who tried to find her in dense vegetation in the median near C Street and Simmerhorn Road.

When she was taken to VCA Bradshaw Animal Hospital in Elk Grove on Saturday, she weighed only 44 pounds. As of Wednesday, she tipped the scales at 53 pounds, said Coelho, who visited the dog and took her outside for a walk. Frida is believed to be 5 or 6 years old.

Coelho said veterinarians are giving her antibiotics for an infection resulting from the broken bone. They also believe the dog’s Achilles tendon snapped or is caught in the break, she said. Because the dog’s owner has not been identified, veterinarians have had to allow a week for the owner to come forward before performing surgery, Coelho said.

She is working with a representative of a German shepherd rescue group in Sacramento, who is putting together a gofundme page for donations to cover the cost of the surgery.

Coelho has been contacted by numerous people interested in adopting Frida. If the dog’s owner is not found, the Galt Police Department will oversee her placement in a new home.

Coelho urged people wishing to adopt Frida to consider adopting a dog from their local animal shelter.

“There are so many dogs in pounds right now,” Coelho said. “And owners, please ‘chip’ your dogs. Just be a responsible dog owner.”

Anyone who recognizes the dog can call the Galt Police Department at 209-366-7000 or the VCA Bradshaw Animal Hospital, 916-685-2494.

Copyright 2016 The Sacramento Bee 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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