Dog Rescued While Standing Guard Over Injured Companion

Stephanie Roby told NBC 5 that the dog, who she named Romeo, "did whatever he could" to help his friend Stella, who later died

Stephanie Roby is a dog lover, and volunteers in her spare time for an animal shelter. That’s why her friend knew to call her when she spotted two dogs in a dire situation.

The dogs, who she later named Stella and Romeo, were strays wandering the streets in Louisville, Kentucky, last Thursday morning when tragedy struck. Roby received a call at 5:40 a.m., her friend urging her to pick up the dogs, one of which had been hit.

Stella had been struck by a car, her friend said, and Romeo was standing over her, protecting her on the busy road as cars zoomed past. Roby said she didn’t think twice when she raced to the dogs, in a pitch black rainstorm.

When she arrived, she saw Stella but no Romeo. A man had pulled over to help, and Romeo was in the back of his car, having been hit by an SUV while trying to protect his beloved companion. Romeo was thrown more than three car-lengths away, Roby said.

“He tried to protect her and was hit in the process,” Roby wrote in a Facebook post that has since been shared more than 1000 times. “To the people who hit them and didn't stop or offer any help well I have no words for how I feel about you. Please pray for these babies.”

Roby said the process of then trying to rescue Stella was incredibly dangerous.

“We almost got hit by three different cars as we were trying to get her,” Roby said. “A truck nearly ran us over, but a bus stopped right after that and put out the stop sign so we could get her.”

Roby took the dogs to an emergency veterinary hospital, where Stella unfortunately did not survive. But Romeo lived through the accident, escaping with soreness and road rash on his head.

“Stella did not make it,” animal shelter Secondhand Hounds wrote on Facebook, “but we believe she was looking after her brother, as he did not have a single broken bone.”

Roby said the outpouring of support has been amazing, but that Romeo “truly deserves it.”

He’s healing in a foster home, according to Roby, but eventually he will be moved to Minnesota-based Secondhand Hounds, who will try to find his forever home.

“This story captured people’s hearts because he tried his best to save Stella, he tried his best to make sure she was okay,” said Roby. “Even though she didn’t make it, he did whatever he could.”

“We promise you, Romeo, the best is yet to come,” Secondhand Hounds wrote. “You're a true hero and will be loved and spoiled for the rest of your life.”

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