State College

State College man rescues dog hit by vehicle on I-80

He could have continued driving.

But sometimes man’s best friend needs help.

James Matthews, of State College, stopped when he spotted a wounded dog on Interstate 80 in Snow Shoe.

The dog, a pointer mix named Patrick for being rescued on St. Patrick’s Day, suffered a broken femur and jaw. Patrick drew a small crowd on the side of the road until a state trooper could take the dog to Metzger Animal Hospital for surgery.

“Just the fact he put the life of the dog ahead of his own says a lot about him,” Pet Recovery of Centre County’s Susan Harpster said. “When you’re probably going 70 mph on I-80 it’s not easy to just pull over. He put his life at risk, and he made every effort to get the dog to safety. He’s that dog’s hero.”

Medical bills for Patrick came out to about $4,700, according to Harpster, though about $4,500 was raised for it by CCPR.

Matthews said Patrick was barely able to move, bleeding from the mouth, and had trouble breathing when the state trooper took the dog. He didn’t expect Patrick to survive.

“I thought about it and wanted to know where he was going,” he said. “I started checking up on him when he went to Metzger. I said if he wasn’t claimed by anyone that I’d take him.”

Matthews is Patrick’s foster owner and plans to adopt the dog. No one came forward to claim Patrick despite social media posts by Pet Recovery and Centre County PAWS.

“I think he’d give Patrick a great home,” Centre County PAWS Director of Operations Lisa Bahr said. “I think it’s fortuitous that he could stop, knew what to do and was calling the hospital to see how Patrick was doing. I think it’s a match.”

Patrick, Matthews said, has become more lively with each day they spend together.

“I don’t know if he remembers me from that day, but he’s OK with me,” Matthews said. “He seems a little unsure of his new surroundings, but he’s also following me everywhere, wagging his tail and eating. He’s doing good.”

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli