Royal rescue: Dog crawls into engine bay, unknowingly rides miles to Kauffman

Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 7:49 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2023 at 10:43 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A puppy is safely back at home after riding miles from Johnson County, Kansas, to the home of the Royals inside a car’s engine bay.

The driver of the car was unaware a dog had hitched a ride along her commute to work at Kauffman Stadium.

When Royals digital reporter and host Carrie Gillaspie arrived at the stadium, she heard whimpering coming from a car in the parking lot.

“The absolute craziest thing happened to me today,” Gillaspie said in a video she shared on social media. “I heard yelping sounds coming a few rows back in the parking lot. I went over to investigate and quickly learned that there was a small dog stuck in the engine of this car. She looked so happy to see us, but we still had no way to get her out.”

That’s when the car’s owner learned something was afoot -- four-footed, in fact -- inside her car.

“‘Hey, this is urgent. Someone thinks there’s a dog in your car,’” Royals Charities Coordinator Ashley Newman recalled. “I’m like, ‘In my car?’ I’m rushing to unlock the car, pop the hood. We look for a few seconds and, sure enough, there are two little eyeballs just looking up at us.”

They called their coworkers for help.

“The dog was in a really tight spot,” Royals Lead Mechanical Technician Dennis Miller said.

They worked carefully to make sure they could safely remove the dog from the car.

“We were able to take the under trim off and get her free,” Miller said. “It was huge relief. I have a dog of my own. I was thinking how I would feel if she went missing.”

Gillaspie shared video of the moment the group managed to rescue the dog from the engine bay. “I cried instantly,” Newman said.

The coworkers weren’t done yet. They rescued, then it was time to reunite.

“We hopped in my car and took her to Kansas City Pet Project,” Gillaspie said in her video. “They scanned her for a microchip. Unfortunately, she didn’t have one.”

Newman checked Facebook for lost pet posts near her home and, sure enough, there was a photo that matched the dog who unknowingly rode with her from Johnson County, Kansas.

“I scrolled a little bit and there was that picture with the owners looking for a couple of days,” Newman said. “I reached out to the owner. She was emotional but very grateful. The little puppy is back home with mom.”

The owner was able to pick their puppy up from the KC Pet Project.

“She went on a 30-minute commute with me to work and I didn’t even know it,” Newman said. “It’s one of those stories that, unless you have a video, I don’t know if anyone would ever believe it.”

No one knows for sure exactly when the dog crawled inside the engine bay. Everyone who helped get her free is incredibly thankful she is back home after an incredible journey.

Unfortunately, the dog, named BonBon, did not come away unscathed. She may need her tail amputated and could require surgery on her toes.

A GoFundMe has been created to help with medical expenses.