BALDWIN PARK — Officials mounted a rescue operation Wednesday afternoon to save a stray two-year-old dog that has made a center median on the 10 Freeway its home for the past week.
The pit bull mix, named Rudolph by rescuers, was safely snatched from the freeway, just east of the 605 Freeway, shortly after 1 p.m. and is now being prepared for adoption, Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control officials said in a written statement.
“This is one lucky dog,” Animal Care and Control Director Marcia Mayeda said.
California Highway Patrol officers have spotted the animal hopping over the center divider and running into traffic lanes since at least last weekend, officials said.
When CHP officers spotted the dog again Wednesday morning, they summoned animal control officials and the agencies coordinated to rescue the dog.
CHP officer shut down traffic on the freeway for several minutes so that animal control officers could wrangle Rudolph, officials said.
“Our officers are trained ropers and generally have a high success rate at quickly and safely capturing stray dogs,” Mayeda said.
The well-organized effort was over with in minutes, she added.
“Traffic was only stopped for a few minutes, and Rudolph was safely en-route to our animal care center before the song playing on the car radio had finished,” Mayeda said.
Rudolph displays a friendly disposition and likely has not been on the streets long, officials said. He’s being assessed by animal care center staff and is expected to be ready for adoption in about a week if his owner isn’t found.
“He was a bit frightened yesterday,” Animal Care and Control Aaron Reyes said. “He’s warming up. He got his blankets and toys last night and slept like a baby.”
Staff will continue working with Rudolph over the coming days to get a good idea of his personality, Reyes said.
“He seems to respond to people in general,” Reyes said, adding the Rudolph allowed Reyes to pet him moments after his capture.
“We know he’s had a family. He doesn’t act like a feral dog,” he said.
Rudolph did not have an identifying microchip implanted and had not been neutered when found, though he will be altered before being adopted out.
Reyes said it was remarkable that Rudolph managed to survive alone on a highway for so long.
It required survival skills and luck, and I think Rudolph had a little bit of both,” he said.
Anyone interested in adopting Rudolph should can contact the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center, 4275 Elton Street, at 626-430-2366.