These Cops Drove Hundreds of Miles to Reunite Dogs with Their Families
While statistics show that 10,000 pet dogs are shot by police officers every year, it’s reassuring to know there are compassionate cops out there who voluntarily go out of their way to help pets. Meet three of them who drove hundreds of miles this year to reunite dogs with their families.
Officers Kuhl and Tancredi: Drove a Basset Hound 650 Miles
“She gave us a lot of laughs and a lot of memories,” Frank Kuhl, a patrolman with the Wall Township Police in New Jersey, told WABC.
He was referring to Bella, a basset hound he and patrolman Michael Tancredi drove 650 miles to her home in South Carolina earlier this month.
It all began July 15, when Kuhl stopped to help a man who needed medical attention after his car broke down. The man, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., had to be hospitalized, so Bella was taken to stay temporarily at the Monmouth County Humane Society.
“One of his reservations was what was going to happen to Bella,” Kuhl told WABC. “He was clearly very attached to her. And she was to him — when we started pulling her away she started to whimper, trying to stay with him.”
Seven days later, the man was still in the hospital. The shelter was going to put Bella up for adoption, but Kuhl wasn’t about to let that happen. He’d promised Bella’s owner he’d take good care of his beloved dog, and he kept that promise.
“It pulled on my heartstrings a little bit,” he told CBSNewYork.com. “I have two dogs at home, and I got a vibe that this guy feels the same way about dogs that I do.”
Kuhl arranged to get temporary custody of Bella and rescued her from the shelter. Bella’s co-owner was distraught because she couldn’t make the trip up to New Jersey to retrieve the dog. Thanks to Kuhl and Tancredi, she had no reason to be upset. On August 4, the two officers made the 10-and-a-half hour drive to Myrtle Beach to reunite Bella with her very grateful co-owner and family.
“It was very difficult to see her leave. We all fell in love with her,” Kuhl told WABC. “I had the chance to help out and ultimately it’s something I can be proud of. It was a fun experience and very much worth it.”
Officer Whaley: Drove a Pit Bull 770 Miles
After a pit bull named Kai was in a car crash March 19 that killed her owner, 19-year-old McKenzie Catron, the spooked dog ran away.
Catron had been driving with a friend and Kai back to their home in Bentonville, Ark., after spending spring break in Florida when she crashed into a telephone pole in Dothan, Ala. Her friend and Kai survived, but the dog disappeared.
“We felt we needed to find the dog,” Sgt. Jonathon Whaley, one of the first to arrive at the accident scene, told FOX 5 Atlanta. “We were going to do whatever we needed to do to reunite this dog with this family.”
Whaley, other police officers and hundreds of community members searched everywhere for Kai. Two days later, Benjamin Irwin, an attorney whose law firm offered a $1,000 reward for Kai’s safe return, found the still-terrified dog himself, and enlisted a group of people to form a human wall to capture her. (The law firm donated the reward money to the animal shelter from which Catron had adopted Kai.)
Kai was examined by a veterinarian who determined that despite the dog’s ordeal, she was in good shape. Whaley and his wife then volunteered to make the 12-hour, 770-mile road trip to return Kai to her grieving family in Arkansas.
“For us, [Kai] was just a part of her. And we found it,” Catron’s mother, Kendra Mulherin, told KHBS. “And now we can kind of start healing.”