When called to rescue a young pit bull wandering dangerously close to a major freeway, Donna Lochmann was uncertain how the dog would respond to her presence. She understood the importance of the situation, but also recognized the potential for the dog to be startled and flee, exacerbating the danger.
According to Donna Lochmann, the chief life-saving officer of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, if the young pit bull had become frightened and fled, he would have ended up on the highway, posing a significant risk to his safety. Lochmann emphasized that it’s crucial to keep animals away from highways at all costs. When she received a call about a black-and-white dog wandering near a highway entrance ramp, Lochmann promptly responded. The dog was not only in danger due to his proximity to the highway, but it was also bitterly cold outside, making it unsafe for the dog to remain outdoors for an extended period.
Upon arriving at the scene, Lochmann discovered the shivering and frightened pup hunkered down against a chain-link fence, with vehicles whizzing by dangerously close. Time was of the essence, so Lochmann had to act swiftly. Moving cautiously towards the dog, she monitored his response at every step. To her surprise, the dog was overjoyed to see her and showed no aggression.
Lochmann recounted her approach, saying, “I crouched down a bit to appear less intimidating, but he was actually quite friendly.”
Rather than retreating, the dog cautiously approached Lochmann, tentatively sniffing her. Once he realized that she posed no threat, he eagerly rolled onto his back for some belly rubs. Though he was still trembling, his tail began to wag with joy for the first time since Lochmann had spotted him.
Overwhelmed with affection for the pup, Lochmann hugged him tightly and showered him with love before taking him back to the Jeep.
“He warmed up to me right away,” Lochmann said. “He was an incredibly sweet dog.”
Lochmann was struck by the sight of the large semi-trailer trucks passing them by and decided to name the affectionate pup Peterbilt, after the popular truck brand.
As they made their way back to safety in the car, Lochmann spoke soothingly to Peterbilt, gently patting his head to reassure him.
While Lochmann was uncertain how Peterbilt ended up at the highway entrance ramp, she could tell from his demeanor that he was familiar with human interaction.
According to Lochmann, Peterbilt had experienced human touch before but was clearly not well-cared for by his previous owner. However, Peterbilt’s days of wandering in search of love were over as soon as he received a clean bill of health from the vet clinic and was ready for foster care. Fortunately, he quickly found a loving foster home that he had always needed. Although he is still waiting for his forever home, Peterbilt is happy and content in his current home, where he enjoys cozy naps on his bed and walks with his people. With his unique personality, Lochmann believes that someone will soon fall in love with Peterbilt, and he will reciprocate that love. She’s confident that he will fit perfectly into someone’s family and thrive as a beloved family member.