Dog, owner reunited 24 hours after Interstate 35 rollover

Michelle Ross reunites with her dog Cooper at the Lacy Lakeview Police Department Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Ross)
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LACY LAKEVIEW, Texas (KWTX) The prayers of a woman whose dog ran after a rollover crash Monday on Interstate 35 north of Lacy Lakeview were answered Tuesday morning.

Michelle Ross and her children escaped serious injury in the crash, which happened at around 10 a.m. on I-35 near the New Dallas Highway overpass.

"More than anything we are grateful for the light of another day," Ross told KWTX.

Ross was driving south on the interstate in a Volkswagen when a tire blew out, authorities said.

The VW crashed into another vehicle and overturned.

"Hearing the screams of my children as our vehicle flipped over and over is a sound I will never forget," said Ross.

"Once the vehicle stopped rolling I waited a few seconds to see if there would be any additional impact, nothing happened so while we all hung upside down in our seats, I had enough room to unbuckle and crawl to the back seat and sit on the inside of the roof of my car between their two car seats, unbuckle them and sit with my two babies ages four and one in my lap trying to keep them calm as the awesome people that stopped helped get us out of the vehicle," she said.

Afterward, their beloved family pet, Cooper, was nowhere to be found.

"One person said they saw a dog run off the highway," said Ross.

Ross reached out to police and 'lost pet' pages on Facebook in hopes of finding Cooper.

"After being released from the hospital with life in our bodies, we took to Facebook in hopes to find our boy Cooper," said Ross. "With over 100 shares in an hour, Cooper was located Tuesday morning."

Tuesday morning , a local citizen, Tammy Brown, found Cooper in the Spring Lake area west of the interstate and delivered him to the Lacy Lakeview Police Department, police Chief John Truehitt said.

Truehitt reminded residents Tuesday of the importance of microchipping pets to ensure that animals that stray can be reunited with owners.

"The Chief and his amazing staff kept him fed and comfortable until we could get reunited with him this (Tuesday) afternoon," said Ross.

Ross immediately took Cooper to a veterinarian in Belton.

"At quick glance Cooper seemed in good spirits but the pain was evident as we loaded him into the car," said Ross.

He had road rash with necrotic tissue and maggots already infesting his open wounds, said Ross, plus some external and internal bruising, he was dehydrated, and he had a broken femur at the right hip joint.

"Surgery was unavoidable for a full recovery and it will be several months of rehab before he'll have use of that leg again," said Ross.

The surgery, initial treatment, and equipment to walk him will cost somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500, she said.

However, the family, which is currently commuting from Harker Heights to Dallas so Dad can be a police officer, has depleted their savings with moving expenses and the unforeseen costs resulting from the accident.

"Additionally, Cooper will be in the ICU at the vet clinic until Friday so we still don't have our Coop home yet," said Ross. "Now our move to live under one roof together may be put on hold as we have to find a way to cover vet expenses, purchase a vehicle and two new car seats."

The family has created a GoFundMe account.