LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Monday, cars were forced to stop, pull over and swerve along the ever busy Broadway around lunchtime.
It was all because of a stalky, 60-pound blue pit bull whose appearance carries the stereotypes that have marginalized its breed.
The dog was running full speed in the middle of the road, particularly alongside one vehicle as he looked up at the people inside.
“He was down by the Rally’s and he chased a van for a long time," said Josh Ritter. "And I was like, ‘Oh, maybe they left him because he was just honed in on that one car.’”
But after running for a couple of blocks, the pit bull’s speed slowed down. Its large head began swiveling in all directions trying to figure out what to do next.
That's when he caught the eye of a tall, slender man who appeared to be in his late 20's. He'd gotten out of his car and despite the bombardment of negative headlines against the breed, and called for the animal.
“Cars were moving fast on Broadway and I’m just glad that people gave us the space and time to get him off the side of the road,” Ritter said.
As we all watched, the nameless pit ran to him. The minute he reached the stranger, the dog immediately made a move. He laid on his back and asked for a belly rub.
By this time, my photographer and I had gotten out of the car too, and scrambled to get the camera out to capture the moment when two strangers became friends.
"He's very mild mannered. I'm surprised, he actually sits better than my dog actually," Ritter joked.
It wasn’t long before another woman brought the dog some water, while Ritter and it played with sticks.
Not long after, the Louisville Metro Animal Services showed up. They too were greeted with kisses from the dog on the run before he jumped in their truck.
The dog was not micro-chipped or neutered.
Before the LMAS truck pulled away, Ritter took the case number as he joked that he might end up with two dogs instead of one.
“Most things with dogs is just giving them their space and introducing, and judging their temperament," Ritter said. "As you saw he came right over and rolled over and just wanted someone to hang out with him I guess.”
LMAS is currently at maximum capacity. They are a no-kill shelter but are struggling to maintain that status.
In December, the shelter announced that all redemption fees are waived for pets currently at the LMAS shelter through the end of the month.
“We know that all of the dogs picked up as strays or turned into us have owners,” said Ozzy Gibson, LMAS Shelter Director in a press release. “The problem is people aren’t coming in to claim their pets. That’s the overall major contributor to the shelter being at capacity. Last year during the holidays the shelter was full; we want to take a proactive approach this year, in hopes of remaining a No Kill Shelter. We want them home for the Holidays!”
Pets can be claimed at the LMAS Shelter located at 3705 Manslick Road, Monday-Friday 12-6pm; and Saturdays 11-2pm.