• Dog seen along Florida turnpike for months is captured

    By: Lauren Seabrook and James Tutten, WFTV.com

    Updated:

    OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - It's been a major distraction for drivers on Florida’s Turnpike in Osceola County.

    They don't know if she has a home, but a dog, whom some are now calling Ozzy, certainly has a lot of people watching out for her.

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    Dispatchers at the turnpike’s Traffic Management Center have spent months doing everything they can to catch the dog before she or a driver gets hurt.

    On Friday, Florida Turnpike officials said she was captured. She is very calm and quiet.

    There's a whole team of people watching hundreds of cameras along the turnpike and keeping an eye out for anything that may be dangerous for drivers.

    But consistently since May, in one particular part of the road, they kept seeing the same dog over and over.

    Road Ranger Jonathon Hester patrols a stretch of the turnpike near the Yeehaw Junction.

    “Our No. 1 job is safety," Hester said.

    He's usually routing drivers around wrecks or helping with a flat tire. But lately, he's been determined to find the furry fugitive.

    "This one has just evaded us for a long time and we keep trying to find him,” Hester said.

    For about two months, dispatchers were seeing the yellow Labrador between mile markers 196 and 205 on the turnpike, headed southbound.

    "And just kind of runs up and down the roadway. It's a big distraction for the motorists driving by,” Hester said. “People see it and slam on their brakes."

    Officials said they have no idea where she came from.

    "It's possible it could've come from a vehicle crash,” Hester said. “A motorist could've been traveling with this dog, and crashed and the dog got scared and ran away."

    Because she's been living on the road in Osceola County, they have affectionately named her Ozzy.

    Osceola County Animal Control let Hester borrow a trap in an effort to catch Ozzy.

    Now that the dog is caught, they plan to scan Ozzy for a chip to see if she has a home. If not, Ozzy may be up for adoption.


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