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.

deputy brian bowling saved dog's life twice

Ginger and her hero, Deputy Brian Bowling.
Photo credit: YouTube

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

271 comments

Marie W
Marie W5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fook6 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fook6 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sarah S
Sarah Salim6 months ago

I SALUTE you Deputy Brian Bowling & to all animal lovers/protectors/guardian angels,who made this heartwarming story possible!TQ!TQ!TQ!

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Hent c

Thank you for sharing.

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sue higgins
sue higgins6 months ago

that was a lovely thing to do for ginger but the person who shot the dog should be prosecuted and made to pay the vet bills.

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Diane P
Diane Petrillo6 months ago

Wonderful story, just so nice to hear when all we see is abuse. Now what about the gun-toting neighbor? She should have to pay for what she had done to the poor dog.

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iveta NoFwdsPls cer

What a wonderful man , poor dog :( .

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Vikki D
Kesha Drew6 months ago

Thank you, Officer Bowling; what a wonderful human you are! Gives me some faith in humanity.
The evil scum who did this should be shot. It's about time the law punished animal abusers harshly.
Thank you to the animal shelter for caring for this sweet baby.

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agi r.
agi r.6 months ago

Kind and caring! This is how I dream of human beings!

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