Warning: If you're a dog lover, this story is hard to read. But it gets better, we promise.
Aaron Schneider was driving on I-470 near Lee's Summit, Missouri, when he saw a dog get hit by a car a few lanes over. No one would have blamed him if he kept going; after all, a busy interstate isn't exactly the safest place to be a hero. But Schneider, an Iraq War vet and former member of the U.S. Army Reserve decided to save the day, says to CNN affiliate KSHB.
According to BluePearl Veterinary Partners, an animal emergency care organization, Schneider crossed three lanes of busy traffic on foot and found the dog critically injured, scared, and obviously in pain. He called emergency services, and since the dog seemed aggressive because of the trauma, there was nothing more he could do but sit and wait. Eventually, after hours of patience, Schneider managed to subdue the dog and get him into a friend's pickup truck.
The beagle was shuttled from the Chipman Road Animal Clinic to a BluePearl facility, where he underwent emergency treatments for several serious injuries. By this time, he had a name: Buster. Though he is still banged up, BluePearl personnel posit that Buster will make a full recovery.
So why would Schneider risk his own life and spend hours tending to an animal that may not even have had a chance at survival? His answer was heartbreaking.
"Having served in Iraq, you see a lot of loss," he told BluePearl, "Which is one of the reasons I was determined to see him make it."
So yes, seeing a dog in pain is difficult. But for Schneider, his act of kindness may result in a forever friendship: No one has stepped up to claim Buster, so if all goes well, Buster will get to go home with his hero for good.