Police departments across the country have recently been getting a bad rap in the animal community due to an uptick in reports about officers unnecessarily injuring or killing dogs.
Recently hundreds of protestors demanded answers from the Salt Lake City Police Department after an officer killed the dog of resident Sean Kendall while looking for a missing child. The dog, named Geist, was in Kendall’s fenced-in backyard, and when police officers entered the yard to look for the child, an officer allegedly opened fire. Kendall’s story is just one that documents the violence and deadly force that some officers have been using against canines.
But when Sgt. Gary Carter of the Texas-based Arlington Police Department responded to an aggressive dog call from concerned residents, he didn’t just whip out his gun and take aim.
In a post on Facebook, the Arlington Police Department said that a few citizens reported they were being followed by a pit bull in their North Arlington neighborhood. But when Carter arrived on the scene, he immediately began interacting with the dog and found that the pooch was extremely friendly. The dog appeared to be lost and thirsty, so Carter decided to help.
UPDATE: Sgt. Gary Carter Adopts Pit Bull After Rescuing Him for Second Time
Carter was able to coax the dog into the patrol car with an energy bar and he took the dog to a local animal shelter. The police department posted the dog’s photo on Facebook in hopes of tracking down the owner. Luckily, the dog, named Jeffrey, had a microchip and was reunited with his owner.
The photos on the Arlington Police Department Facebook page went viral and have over 171,000 likes and nearly 70,000 shares. Sgt. Carter is now recognized as a local hero of animal rescue—an accolade that the officer definitely deserves.
In a news video report from NBC 5, Carter explains that not all police officers are out to harm family pets. The Arlington Police Department recently stepped up training of officers in how to identify and handle aggressive dogs. “Maybe people can realize, first of all, that not all big dogs are dangerous,” Carter told reporters. “And second of all, that not all police officers are out to shoot big dogs, because we’re not.”
We’re thrilled to see that Jeffery was safely returned to his owner and we applaud Sgt. Carter for rescuing this pit bull.