Last week, in an isolated area overlooking downtown Cleveland, an unknown man tied three dogs to the CSX railroad tracks, then pulled out his camera. He took pictures. He assuredly thought he was alone — the area is secluded — but he wasn’t. A CSX worked had noticed the man from a distance, and he was making his way toward him, to stop this man who was trying dogs to the train tracks.
But he was too far away. A train came, and the unthinkable happened.
Of the three dogs tied to the tracks, incredibly, one survived. According to Newsnet5.com, a small mixed-breed dog crouched down just as the train passed over him. The CSX worker watched it happen, just as he had watched the dogs being tied to the tracks. By the time he got to the shaking, scared dog, the perpetrator was gone. If the worker hadn’t seen the man, and hadn’t rushed to the scene, we can only imagine what would have then happened to the little dog, who had escaped death against all odds.
How did this survivor, a dog with a pink collar, have the presence of mind to not only stand between the tracks, but to crouch down as the train passed?
Lesley DeSouza, Cuyahoga County animal shelter manager, “believes the animal’s survival instincts kicked in as it realized the danger coming its way,” reported Newsnet5.com. “She, for some reason, got between the railroad tracks and ducked down so she didn’t get hit by the train,”said DeSouza.
The dog is unhurt, just scared. She’s currently at the Cuyahoga County animal shelter. “She’s very gentle. She’s playful. She’s about two years old,” DeSouza told the Associated Press. “She is amazingly friendly, and she likes to sit on your lap. She’s a lap dog. We’re just stunned that a dog that went through all this so quickly has adapted herself.” WKYC Cleveland reports that the dog “is coming around. After three days she is eating again, and after come coaxing, will take a kind, gentle hand.”
After a waiting period to see if the family comes forward (assuming the dog was stolen), DeSouza hopes the dog can be adopted. “She’s been through enough. She needs a yard and she needs a nice family. She’s very healthy and happy. We’ve given her her first rounds of meds and she’s doing fine.”
As for the man who committed this unspeakable act, he’s still at large. Clearly, this is someone who is a danger to animals and people. In response, PETA has stepped in, offering a $5,000 award, and the Human Society is offering a $2,500 award, according to Newsnet5.com. PETA director Martin Mersereau suggested whoever tied the animals to the tracks could “pose a serious threat to all animals — including humans.”
However, an article by ThinkProgress reveals that Ohio has “some of the of the weakest animal cruelty laws in the country.”
“In Ohio, the first offense of animal cruelty is a second-degree misdemeanor, meaning that it carries a maximum jail sentence of 90 days. The same offense is a felony in 44 other states …. A first offense is a misdemeanor, no matter the severity of the allegations of cruelty.”
It’s unthinkable that such an act can carry only three months jail time, but that’s what we might be looking at — if the perpetrator is even found.
Correction: An earlier version of this story identified the dog as a “Pit mix,” when it should have read, “mixed breed.”