Jared Twedell was driving one weekend when he noticed an unusual mass in the middle of a train track. Upon closer inspection, though, he realized that the object was an animal – and to make matters worse, it was tied up. But Twedell didn’t just stand by; instead, he embarked on a race against time to save the creature.
Twedell comes from Oregon, where he shares his home with a whole host of furry friends – including one Flemish rabbit, a few cats and a pair of rescue dogs. Needless to say, then, the man seems to be somewhat of an animal lover.
However, seemingly not everyone in Twedell’s home state shares his apparent affection. In 2017, for instance, a rise in the number of animal abandonments was reported in one corner of southern Oregon. Residents in Jackson Country had grown concerned after having noticed that more and more animals were being left on quiet roads.
Ashley Cates was a resident of the area at the time, and in just one week she had learned of three abandoned dogs in her immediate neighborhood. “I don’t know if it’s the heat or what circumstances are pushing more out right now, but [the abandonment] definitely seems like it’s ramping up,” she told KOBI in 2017.
And the problem hadn’t gone unnoticed by the staff at Jackson County Animal Services, either. “For whatever reason, this does happen quite often in Jackson County,” Mike Slusarczyk, an officer for the department, revealed.
Speaking of the abandoned animals, Slusarczyk said, “They are often scared and panicked because they watched their owner or whoever drive off.” He added, “In a specific case, it was reported the dog was trying to chase after the vehicle as if to get back in.”
And the reality of animal abandonment was something that Twedell was about to confront head on. On one Sunday in July 2018, he was taking a trip to a nearby recycling center; then, however, something troubling would catch Twedell’s eye.
Describing the strange scenes, Twedell told The Dodo in July 2018, “There are railroad tracks near the gate. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught this flicker of movement.” He added, “I thought it was a deer lying on the tracks.”
And perhaps because he is an animal lover, Twedell was concerned for the creature’s safety. As a result, he then wound down his car window and whistled. It was his hope that the piercing noise would startle the animal off the train tracks.
But while Twedell’s whistling did attract the animal’s attention, the only response he received was the pricking of two little ears. However, now that Twedell had a better view of the creature, he realized that the animal in question wasn’t a wild deer – but a dog.
All of a sudden, Twedell started to get a bad feeling about the dog’s predicament. And his worries were cemented when he realized that the animal was tied to the tracks. “I went into panic mode,” the Oregon man later admitted to The Dodo. “[The dog] tried to walk toward the car, [but] the rope pulled him back.”
And although Twedell knew that trains passed over that section of track a minimum of three times a day, he had no idea of the schedule. As a consequence, then, he jumped out of his car to launch a race against time to free the dog.
Speaking of the pooch, Twedell revealed, “He was obviously scared. I was worried about whether or not he would let me get close to him. I patted my leg and said, ‘Hey, little buddy!’ His tail just started wagging. That’s when I knew he would be okay with me approaching him.”
Now that Twedell knew he was safe to help the dog, his only hurdle was saving the distressed canine before it was too late. The summer heat had already taken its toll, so the abandoned animal’s welfare depended on his rescuer freeing him as quickly as possible.
And as Twedell worked to unshackle the dog, he may have thought about the person who had heartlessly left the animal there. “The rope was tied in a figure eight, like you would use to tie a boat to a dock,” Twedell later revealed. “Someone did this 100 percent on purpose. It just made me sick.”
Thankfully, though, Twedell was able to free the dog from its precarious position. And to ensure that the pooch was well looked after, the rescuer took him home with him. It was at this point that the young dog became known as Samson – a name given to the animal by Twedell’s family.
From that moment, Twedell cared for Samson as one of his own. Back in the safety of his home, the good Samaritan bathed the dog and picked off the burrs from his coat. Luckily, despite there being a small gash on Samson’s neck, the pup appeared to be in pretty good shape.
What’s more, it didn’t take the dog long to find his place in Twedell’s family. And the man who had rescued him was particularly happy to see Samson form bonds with his other pets. “The dogs have all been getting along great,” Twedell revealed to The Dodo. “All they’ve been doing since I brought Samson home is play.”
Meanwhile, although it was believed that Samson was only six months of age at the time of his retrieval from the train tracks, he was already quite the handful. “He’s definitely rambunctious and really big,” Twedell explained. In fact, the Oregon native suggested that someone may have dumped Samson when the dog had grown larger than expected.
Thankfully, though, Samson’s darkest days appear to be behind him. And although Twedell was only originally planning on looking after the dog until a new home could be found for him, it may very well be the case that Samson’s permanent home will be the Twedell household. “[Samson]’s a really great dog,” the animal’s rescuer gushed to The Dodo.