Michael Ortega and Allen Au, engineers with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, were traveling between Galesburg, Illinois, and La Crosse, Wisconsin, when they received an unexpected call from their dispatcher.
A Good Samaritan had called to report a dog tied to a railcar stopped in the town of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
The dispatcher mentioned that the dog had been sighted on a flat car, used for hauling lumber and sheetrock, but when they arrived there was no dog in sight. “We went real slow, almost to the end of the train, and parked at the end was a lumber car,” Au told The Dodo. “I thought, ‘That must be it.’ But as we drove by we didn’t see anything.”
Au hopped off to get a better look, and when he climbed on top of the flat car he spotted a small brown dog trembling by a post. The frail puppy was secured to a steel beam by a foot-long chain, without water and with a pile of rancid kibble out of reach.