Wednesday, May 31, 2017

HPD was Happy to Reunite Lost Dogs with their Owner

This week, Sgt. Sievert of the South Central Division shared this great outcome of two lost dogs in his area.

“I’d like to share a community success story involving officers from South Central and Eastside divisions. 

On Saturday, May 27, a family drove up to the South Central station with two beautiful German Shepherd Dogs in the back of their pickup.  They had almost hit the dogs as they were driving near Tony Marron Park.  They picked up the dogs and checked the area but didn’t locate an owner.  The dogs were wearing matching collars but no tags.

The family thought that the dogs looked like police K9 dogs, so they came to the station.  We advised them that the best course of action would probably be to take the dogs to BARC, but I contacted BARC and they said they were currently closed and there was nobody available to accept the dogs at their facility.

The dogs were both very clean and well-behaved, one being a male about 2-3 years old and the other being a female about 1-1.5 years old.  South Central Officer Jamaal Martin contacted his classmate Officer Vanessa Garcia from Eastside.  Officer Garcia has a German Shepherd at home, and she said she could take the dogs for the night until we could get them to BARC.  So we kept the dogs in the South Central radio room until the end of the shift, and many of the officers enjoyed seeing them and interacting with them. 

On Sunday afternoon, Officer Garcia brought the dogs back to the South Central station and said they had done very well overnight with her dog and her family.  Officer Sidia Duron suggested that we take the dogs over to the vet clinic at Petsmart to see if they had microchips.  She and I felt like amateur K9 handlers as we walked the dogs through the store, but unfortunately they did not have microchips.  The vet staff recommended that the safest thing for the dogs would be if someone could foster them while we put up flyers to try to locate the owner.

Officer Duron and I drove around the area where the dogs had been found and did not see any flyers for lost dogs, and we also checked on several social media sites with no luck.

Officer Garcia said that she was interested in keeping the dogs if no owner could be found and she agreed to continue to foster them while we search for the owners.  So I kept the dogs in the Desk Sergeant’s office during the shift and they enjoyed exploring on several walks in the back parking lot.

Officer Garcia came and picked up the dogs at the end of the shift, and I did my best to vacuum up any furry evidence that they had been in the station.  J

On Monday, I put up flyers in the area where the dogs were found and also emailed a flyer to BARC’s lost-animal contact center.   Officer Emilio Reyes also put a notice about the found dogs on the social media site NextDoor.

On Tuesday morning,  I received a call from Ms. Janette Sosa, who said that she had seen the flyer and that her two German Shepherds had been missing since Friday.  Ms. Sosa said she believed that someone who had earlier inquired about purchasing the dogs may have returned and lured them out of her yard.  She sent me photos of her dogs and they appeared to match the dogs that we had.  This afternoon, I went to Ms. Sosa’s residence, which was about two miles from where the dogs had been found.  We compared photos and concluded that the dogs were indeed hers, and were named “Boy” and “Chica”.

I contacted Officer Garcia and she had her family bring the dogs to the Eastside Patrol Station this evening, and Ms. Sosa agreed to pick them up there.  I had conversed earlier in the day with Lynette Bodmer, who is the adoption coordinator for BARC.  Ms. Bodmer provided information on free spay/neuter/vaccination/microchip clinics they are holding this month.  When Ms. Sosa arrived at the station to pick up the dogs, they had a joyful reunion in the lobby.  Ms. Sosa has agreed to make sure the dogs are microchipped, registered, and tagged to ensure that they will be easily returned if they are to get out again.

I am very proud of all the officers that were eager to assist with our efforts to care for the dogs and reunite them with their owners, especially Officer Garcia and her family, who opened their home and their hearts to these dogs.  In just the afternoon I spent dog-sitting at the station, I almost became attached to the dogs.  I imagine it was even harder for Officer Garcia to see them go, but it was very rewarding to see how happy the dogs were when they were reunited with Ms. Sosa.

I think this was a great example of our officers interacting with the community in a positive way.   And virtually all of the officers that saw the dogs at the station got an immediate smile on their face and some stress relief during the normal hard workday.