04/6/13  |  Police Officer Uses Day Off to Save Old Stray Dog

by Laura Simpson April 4, 2013 Written by Ed Kostro of Illinois

It was two weeks before Easter when I got a phone call from a police officer concerning yet another abandoned dog. “I’ve seen this poor guy roaming the streets now for the past several nights while on patrol. He’s old; he’s starving; and he looks extremely sad and forlorn. Can you help me rescue him?”

On this police officer’s next day off, she and I headed out to the area this old homeless canine was roaming. We drove around the area for at least an hour, and we couldn’t find him anywhere. “Maybe he only wanders around at night in search of food,” she finally said.

Postal employees can often help identify which animals in the neighborhood are residents and which may be homeless.

We spotted a postal worker delivering mail, and we asked her if she had seen this old street waif. “I haven’t seen him today, but that dog is breaking my heart. He’s been wandering around this neighborhood for weeks now, and he really looks pathetic. I’ve called Animal Control several times, but I still see him around here just about every day digging through the trash.”

So we kept looking for him, and we eventually asked another postal worker if she had seen him. “I just saw that dog about five minutes ago, and he was heading north. He really looks old and worn out.”

We headed north in our vehicles, and we soon spotted him trudging down an alley in search of food. I couldn’t believe how thin, haggard and miserable he looked. When he spotted us following him, he began walking a little faster, not knowing that we wanted to help, not hurt him.

We were finally able to corral him in that alley, and when I carried him to my truck, I sadly realized what a truly horrid condition he was in. He was thin– far too thin and his matted, mangled fur was filthy, and it was drenched in some sort of putrid smelling tar and oil.

At the animal hospital, the vet couldn’t believe his horrendous condition. “He’s at least fifteen pounds underweight, and God only knows what this terrible smelling gunk on his coat is. He doesn’t have a microchip, and he’s not neutered, and I’d say that he’s at least eight or nine years old. What are you going to name this one?”

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