Meet the Arizona Deputy Who Saved a Dog’s Life – Twice!
On his way to a call Dec. 17, Deputy Brian Bowling came across a dog stumbling down the middle of an Arizona road.
The pit bull mix named Ginger had been shot in the head by a neighbor who said he felt threatened after the dog dug a hole under her backyard’s fence and wandered into his yard.
Ginger was alive, but not for long.
“She was bleeding profusely from her head and neck,” Bowling told ABC15. In addition to being a deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Bowling also happens to be a trained paramedic and a veteran who served in Afghanistan. He knew he had to act quickly.
“I had a little flashback, because we had seen military working dogs over there who were blown up by IEDs and shot, and that’s what went through my head,” he told ABC15. “I thought I had to do anything to save its life.”
When he approached Ginger to move her out of traffic, Bowling wasn’t sure how the injured dog would react. “But instead of running away from me or trying to bite me, she ran right up to me and started wagging her tail,” he told FOX 10. She then tried to climb up into the driver’s seat of his patrol car.
Bowling applied combat gauze to her wound, helping to stop the bleeding, and rushed her to a local emergency animal hospital.
His quick actions saved Ginger’s life. She was also fortunate that the bullet bounced off her skull instead of penetrating it.
Foster Mom Couldn’t Afford the Surgery
But Ginger’s luck seemed to be running out. When her foster mom, Hailey Miller, was told Ginger still needed surgery that would cost thousands of dollars, she made the difficult decision to have the dog euthanized. “If I had [the money], I wouldn’t even hesitate,” she told ABC 15.
Just as Bowling had saved Ginger from dying in the middle of the road, he decided he would save her from being put down.
“It just didn’t seem right for a dog that survived so much to die because the owner didn’t have the money to pay for it,” he told ABC15. He paid for her surgery himself, putting it on his credit card.
Miller, who runs the Miller Mutt Motel & Sanctuary pet rescue, was overwhelmed by the deputy’s generosity.
“If this man has this kind of empathy and love for a dog, imagine what he has for people and the rest of the world,” she told ABC 15. “There is such a lesson that can be learned from him.”
Ginger is recovering, Miller wrote on Facebook. She’s now able to walk and eat, and is “so sweet as usual.”
To reimburse Bowling, Miller has launched a GoFundMe campaign that has raised over $6,000.
“It is my Christmas wish that with the help of all animal lovers around the world, I can pay this deputy back,” Miller wrote. “Any remaining funds will go toward law enforcement charities, animal rescues and future rescue dogs that are always coming through my rotating door. Of course the officer will be involved in choosing these charities!”
With so many heartbreaking reports about police officers shooting pet dogs, it’s heartening to know there are compassionate law enforcement officers like Bowling out there who truly do care about animals.
Photo credit: YouTube