A big-hearted California Highway Patrol officer saved a terrified Chihuahua from a busy highway's divider, and the picture of the rescue has become a social media sensation.
Officer Alex Edmon plucked the female Chihuahua, which he named "Freeway," from a highway divider in a San Francisco suburb during rush hour Friday afternoon.
"This little dog needed some help off I-680 freeway today. We're glad he's safe," read a tweet from the California Highway Patrol in Contra Costa County.
"We're big on saving lives," a subsequent tweet from California Highway patrol read.
The rescue picture has since been re-tweeted nearly 1,000 times and has garnered more than 700 "favorites," as of this writing.
Officer Edmon spotted the pup along the freeway and coaxed her into his arms using a protein bar, California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer John Fransen told ABC News today. The tiny dog was uninjured and taken to a shelter in Martinez, California, by county animal services personnel.
Fransen said the California Highway Patrol division in Contra Costa County was investigating how the puppy wound up on the divider in the first place.
"There is no way he could have got there by himself," he said.
Fransen added that, unfortunately, it's not uncommon for unwanted animals to be discarded on highway dividers.
"There are such better solutions," Fransen said. "There are a lot of people who would have wanted this little puppy. Instead of discarding it in that manner, where they are essentially giving it a death sentence, just give it to an animal shelter."
"Freeway," had no identifying tags, making it difficult to track down any potential owner.
The animal shelter apparently already has received several offers to adopt "Freeway," and interest in adopting other animals in the same shelter has spiked as a result of people sharing the rescue photo, according to the highway patrol.
"It's a cool result of the story," Fransen said.