RACINE CO. (WITI) -- Kirra, a six-year-old female lab/beagle mix, has been reunited with her owner on Monday, December 9th. This, after the dog spent nearly 24 hours wandering around in the cold after a terrifying car crash on Sunday.
The dog was thrown from a vehicle during Sunday's massive pileup on I-94 near Highway 20 in Racine. Kirra apparently ran away from the scene after the wreck -- and her owner had put out a plea to find her.
Around 10:30 a.m. on Monday, a Racine County Sheriff's deputy located Kirra walking on the West Frontage Road.
FOX6 News learned Kirra was immediately taken to a veterinarian to be treated for dehydration and cut paws.
Then, she was reunited with her family.
Valorie Nyenhuis' family adopted Kirra when the dog was three months old.
"She immediately fell in love with me," Nyenhuis told FOX6 News when she was reunited with the dog on Monday.
Nyenhuis says the dog was rescued after her father was diagnosed with cancer.
"She's our cancer puppy. She was the only reason he'd get out of bed. He'd get out of bed just to play with her on the floor for a couple hours, but if it weren't for her, he wouldn't have," Nyenhuis said.
Nyenhuis and Kirra were visiting her parents in Sturtevant on Sunday when Nyenhuis decided to head home to Madison before the snow got too bad.
"We got on the interstate from Highway 20. People started slamming on their brakes. I got hit by a semi and I think two other cars," Nyenhuis said.
That's when she realized Kirra was gone.
"Immediately started looking for her and she wasn't there. I don't know if she got thrown from the car or if she jumped," Nyenhuis said.
Nyenhuis was taken to the hospital by ambulance, where she was treated for a concussion.
"All I kept telling the nurses was 'my dog's missing out there. I don't know where she is,'" Nyenhuis said.
Nyenhuis' mother says her husband walked along the interstate on Sunday, asking people in stopped cars whether they had spotted the dog.
"It was like she vanished," Nyenhuis said.
Friends and strangers helped to spread the word of the dog's disappearance on social media, but after searching late into the night on Sunday there was still no sign of Kirra.
"I didn't sleep much last night. It was rough," Nyenhuis said.
Then on Monday morning, Nyenhuis got a call. Kirra had been found!
"Can't even begin to describe how blessed we are. We both had a guardian angel watching over us," Nyenhuis said.