ALBANY PARK — A dog hurt after he wandered onto CTA train tracks in Albany Park is back safe with his owners.
Simba is a 10-year-old cocker spaniel who went missing from his home early Monday.
“He’s so loving and so much fun,” said Frances Jimenez, the dog’s owner. “We’re a couple of older people and he’s like our baby. He’s our son, a part of our family.”
Jimenez’s husband brought the pup with him to pick her up from work as a nursing assistant after midnight Monday, but when they returned to their home about 12:20 a.m. their garage door was not working properly.
“Once the car is parked my husband saw the garage door was having issues going up and down. He stayed behind to try and fix it and I went into the house to get some rest,” Jimenez said. “He thought Simba was with me and I thought he was with my husband.”
Jimenez’s husband dealt with the garage door, entered the house and asked where Simba was. That’s when the couple realized he must have wandered off into the neighborhood.
The two immediately got back into the car. For the next two hours, they slowly drove around searching for Simba. Their search was unsuccessful.
“He was gone and we were so worried. After we couldn’t find him we went back home we called the police and reported him missing,” Jimenez said. “I couldn’t sleep at all. I called my daughter to help me post about Simba online and called Animal Control but they weren’t open yet.”
About 5:45 am Monday, a Brown Line train was approaching the Kedzie Station when Simba was seen under the third rail, according to a CTA spokesperson.
“It’s so horrible that he was there in the middle of the train tracks. How in the heck did he wind up there? Of all the streets and alleys or someone’s house he could have wound up at, instead he’s there on the train tracks,” Jimenez said.
Power was shut off to the tracks and the dog was safely removed from the area. Animal Control arrived about 7:45 a.m. and took the dog to an animal shelter.
“I want to find the CTA worker who basically saved Simba’s life. I want to thank him personally and give him a card or something,” Jimenez said. “We’re so happy. I was praying for Simba and an angel saved him.”
But Jimenez still had no idea where he was. Her daughter offered to swing by Animal Control later in the day and that’s when the family heard Simba had been saved by a CTA employee.
A woman posted about the incident on Facebook and said the dog appeared to have been electrocuted.
“We did triage here and the cocker spaniel was limping on his right forelimb. We told the owner to follow up with the vet,” said Animal Control spokeswoman Jenny Schlueter. “He’s a very lucky pup.”
Simba was brought Monday night, has been given a bath and is back to cuddling with his owners.
“We’ve had him for 10 years and this is the first time something like this has happened,” Jimenez said. “I’m still trying to figure out how he got all the way over the the train tracks from our home. The good thing is when he wandered off it was so early there weren’t a lot of cars driving in the street yet. But I was so devastated when we didn’t know where he was.”
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