As she ran out onto North Avenue at the brink of rush hour traffic Wednesday afternoon, Kathryn Quattrocchi only had one thought going through her mind — saving the life of a small dog that had just been hit by an oncoming car.
The 21-year-old, who was outside taking a break from her job at Massage Envy, didn't think of her own personal safety. She didn't focus on the cars that were hastily traveling up and down the busy roadway. Her only though was to get to the small terrier as quickly as possible and get him out of harm's way before he sustained further injury.
Just after 4 p.m., the dog and his owner were across the street in the Shop Rite parking lot when the owner apparently lost his grip on the dog's leash. The animal dashed into oncoming traffic on the 500-block of North Avenue and was accidentally struck by an SUV. As the vehicle pulled over and the police were contacted, the dog's cries caused employees and customers of nearby businesses to run outside and check on the animal's well-being.
"I was standing outside, and I saw the dog running from ShopRite and ran out into the street to grab the dog, and almost got hit by at least three cars. The dog's leg got caught under the tire," Quattrocchi said just minutes after the incident.
As police spoke to the dog's owners, Quattrocchi continued to cradle the shaking animal, petting him until he calmed down and refusing to let go until she was assured that he would be taken to an animal hospital for treatment.
"I just felt so bad for him," said Quattrocchi, who is is daughter of Garwood Mayor Patricia Quattrocchi. The dog's leg appeared to be badly injured as a result of the accident.
The mayor, who hadn't yet heard of the incident until contacted by Patch, said she's not at all surprised by her daughter's heroic actions.
"I'm not surprised that Katy did that. Katy is a very caring, generous, young lady. I'm very proud of her," the mayor said of her daughter, who she says is an animal lover, just like her father.
Shortly after Garwood police arrived, the dog was taken by the family to the nearby Westfield Veterinary Group. It is not yet known if the driver of the vehicle who struck the animal was issued any summonses.