Dog running on Highway 401 saved by Good Samaritan

A dog was rescued from Highway 401 on Sunday morning, thanks to a driver who saw her along the shoulder of the road.

Diana Goncalves was travelling from Mississauga to Kitchener when she saw the pup running against traffic in the westbound lanes near Guelph Line at around 8:30 a.m.

She told CTV News that she got off at the next exit and then circled back to the highway to see if she could help the lost dog.

"I was getting to the exit and I was like, 'Oh my God, I must be a complete crazy person. Here I am chasing a dog now,'" she said.

By the time she arrived a worker with the Ministry of Transportation was on scene, trying unsuccessfully to coax the dog out of a ditch.

"The dog was just growling at him and she was really scared. I just went up to the dog and said: 'Do you want a treat?' I came and opened up my car door and the dog jumped in so fast."

Goncalves said the pup appeared to be in good health and looked like she was well taken care of.

An OPP officer then arrived and took the dog to Cambridge animal services.

They also posted a photo of the animal on the OPP Twitter account saying "she is waiting for her best friend to come pick her up."

While this rescue went well, provincial police warn drivers against exiting their vehicle on a busy highway.

"I'm happy that it ended well," said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt with the OPP's Highway Safety Division. "They're able to save the dog and it wasn't injured, but we've seen it happen many times in the past and we have had it when the outcomes have not been successful to the Good Samaritans or to the wildlife or animal that was there."

Sgt. Schmidt said drivers shouldn't pull over, but instead call police who can do a controlled stop.

The Cambridge Humane Society told CTV News it wouldn't release any additional information on the dog due to privacy concerns, but she may be put up for adoption if the owner doesn't come forward.

"I'm hoping that literally it was just an escape from a backyard and somehow she wandered to the highway," said Goncalves. "Hopefully that's all that happened. I would love to know if she did get back home."