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FHP troopers save dog running in and out of traffic on I-4

Posted at 12:01 AM, Sep 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-22 10:22:56-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A little dog named Prince is back home with his owner after he was found running in and out of traffic on I-4 on Friday.

The moment was one Evelyn Zayas wasn't sure she'd get.

"I just didn't think I was gonna see him again," she said.

Zayas says she is a homeless veteran and that her dog, Prince, is an emotional support animal.

"We are survivors," she said.

But Friday, she says he got spooked by noise from equipment and ran out of an open gate on the property where they were staying.

Later in the day, Florida Highway Patrol troopers responded to a dog running in and out of traffic on I-4. They rescued him from along the westbound I-4 ramp to northbound I-275.

"So someone probably picked him up, maybe wanted to keep him maybe was trying to find the proper place to take him, but unfortunately made the decision to let him loose on the highway, and it does happen quite frequently " Kimberly Valdiviezo, the lead technician for the shelter department at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay said.

The organization was treating the dog and initially called him Lightning for his speed zipping around the road.

"Surprisingly not in too much bad shape. There was a couple scratches and some bruising definitely very shaken up but he was very warming letting us grab him hold onto him. He was being very sweet to us with all this trauma that he went through," Valdiviezo said.

She said they put the information on social media and Zayas got in touch Saturday.

"She provided proof with pictures that it was him and then we brought him out and he came out of his shell, like he wanted to jump into her arms, go immediately to her so we trusted that this was her pet," Valvidiezo

"He’s gonna have a stable home and we gonna, have lightning slash prince for a long time," Zayas said.