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Rescued dog

Bill Kramer, of Bismarck, stopped to rescue a pitbull, now known as Celine Dion, after she was dumped from a vehicle on Interstate 94 west of Bismarck. Celine suffered a fractured rear leg and facial injuries.

As the owner of towing and hauling businesses, Bill Kramer turns the odometer a lot of miles driving back and forth through western North Dakota, passing fields and farms, pump jacks and prairie.

But Monday's trip was not an ordinary day on the job.

Headed west to Montana on Interstate 94, around mile marker 95, Kramer noticed a vehicle going east spilling what looked like garbage. Doing a double take, he saw something bigger had fallen out.

A dog sat on the dotted line in the middle of the interstate as vehicles rushed past at 75 mph.

Kramer took the ditch in his F-350 with 30-foot trailer in tow, hoping he wouldn't cause an accident. He backed his trailer slightly into the right lane, forcing cars to move over.

He said when he got to the gray female pit bull, now known as Celine Dion, she was bleeding and scared. He saw that her leg was broken.

"At first, I thought, 'This is stupid. I'm going to get run over,'" Kramer said, but he at least wanted to get her off the road. "I was nervous for her."

Kramer crawled on his hands and knees toward her.

"She was just frozen," he said.

It took his own dog coming out of the truck to get her to move and follow him so Kramer could lift her into his truck.

Kramer said not many animals can get dumped in the middle of interstate traffic and live through it. He said it would have been hard for him to see her get hit while he was standing right there.

Kramer said after he got Celine in his truck, he did not know what to do so he posted to Facebook looking for help.

"That's when all (expletive) broke loose," he said.

He got hundreds of calls and Facebook messages from as far as Florida, California and Massachusetts wanting to donate or send care packages. Others as far as Washington were willing to drive to North Dakota to take her into their home.

"That was kind of cool how people banded together to do something," Kramer said. "Social media doesn't always have the best track record."

People donated to help cover about $800 to $900 worth of vet bills, which Kramer described as pretty impressive.

Kim Brummond, of West Dakota Veterinary Clinic, said Erika Schumacher was the lead vet, treating Celine's fractured rear leg. She said the dog had some facial trauma but no fractures there.

"She was in pretty good shape considering the circumstances," Kramer said.

Brummond said the clinic does some community service care and, as a result of working with police departments, frequently sees abandoned animals with major injuries.

Celine, between 1 and 2 years old, will be in a cast for four weeks, but she'll live.

"It was certainly a horrific incident for the dog and for the man that rescued it," Brummond said.

Kramer said before meeting Celine, he had heard only the bad things people said about pit bulls.

"She's a sweet, sweet dog," said Kramer, adding that she got blood all over his truck but it almost seemed like she felt bad for doing it. "It definitely tugs at my heartstrings."

A friend of Kramer's is taking Celine in, and Kramer said he plans to post photos to Facebook to update people on her recovery.

"I'd just like to thank all those people for caring and reaching out," he said.

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(Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com)

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