When Jaime Magaña, a building-restoration supervisor, took a lunch break yesterday after driving 110 miles around Southern California, he felt movement in the front of his company’s Chevy Silverado truck after he turned off the engine.
Then he noticed fur sticking out above a front tire.
“When I opened the hood he looked at me like thank you very much,” Magaña told the Register. “I didn’t want to pull him out … maybe something was broken.”
He very carefully lifted the dog off the engine compartment, gave him water and called 911.
“Between the engine and the front there is a big gap and that is what saved him,” Magaña told the Register.
Even Southern California’s record-breaking heat yesterday didn’t seem to have an impact on the dog. “I don’t understand how it survived at this temperature with the engine running,” Magaña said. “It doesn’t make any sense. And the dog has nothing (wrong), no problem. It’s in one piece. This is amazing. This will never happen again in my life.”
When animal control officer Jill Moran arrived and put the dog in the air-conditioned cab of her truck, she told the Register he immediately perked up. While animal control gets occasional calls for kittens stuck inside engine mounts, and even a few snakes, she said this was the first call regarding a dog in that situation.
The fortunate pooch, who has appropriately been named Chevy by the San Clemente-Dana Point Animal Shelter, continues to do well.
Magaña, who has three dogs of his own, told the Register he had seen Chevy around his Chino, Calif., neighborhood, but did not know who he belonged to. Both he and the shelter are attempting to track down Chevy’s pet parents.
If they cannot be located after five days, Chevy will be neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, and ready for a furever home – and for future road trips inside the car, not under the hood.
“It’s a beautiful dog,” Magaña told the Register.