Eric VonCanon, a retired Virginia police officer, and his wife were driving on I-95 when they encountered a traffic jam. A tragic car accident had happened, and traffic was being rerouted.

During this time, the pair observed something peculiar by the roadside. Alone on the grass, a German Shepherd sat.

Eric approached the enormous dog, and he observed that she was wearing a collar with tags and a leash. The man, who has two German Shepherds of his own, understood instantly that she was not a stray.

The ex-police officer stopped his car and approached the friendly dog. She did not flee or display aggression. She appeared almost relieved that someone had found her.

Eric’s initial action was to bring the dog to the veterinarian. As he brought the dog to his car, he observed that she was limping. In addition, he discovered the dog’s owner’s phone number on her tags. When he called the number, he learned that the dog, Gemma, was in the car with her owner during the fatal collision.

The owner’s mother sounded relieved when Eric informed her that he had discovered their dog. They had anxiously searched everywhere for her, calling animal hospitals and shelters to see if they had found Gemma. The owner of the German Shepherd could not stop thinking about her pet, even as she was being transported to the emergency room.

After receiving basic wound care, Gemma was taken to her owner’s mother. She will remain there until her fur mom’s discharge from the hospital where she will need to heal for around a week.

This story is about more than Gemma’s return to her owner. Eric stated that his rescue of the dog should not detract from the fact that people died in the disaster. He was happy to have saved a dog, but he urged others to consider what the victims’ families are going through.


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