July 10, 2014

Arlington police officer rescues pit bull twice

Caught two weeks ago, the dog ended up in the Arlington shelter again — but the story has a happy ending.

Just two weeks after getting a burst of attention for helping to catch a wandering pit bull without harm, Arlington police Sgt. Gary Carter was disappointed to learn this week that the dog was back at the city animal shelter and was at risk of being euthanized.

The pit bull had been picked up again while running loose, and this time the owner reportedly decided not to redeem the dog from the shelter.

After visiting the shelter Thursday morning, Carter decided the pooch, formerly known as Jeffery, would fit right in with his pack back home. He adopted the dog Thursday.

“It’s a big city and I somehow keep getting drawn back to him time and time again,” Carter said.

Carter’s first encounter with the dog was June 26 in downtown Arlington. After responding to a residential burglary alarm, he and another officer were flagged down in the 400 block of North East Street by residents who said that a dirt-covered, white pit bull was chasing them in an “aggressive” manner.

The officers had completed the Arlington department’s mandatory training on dealing with dogs. They determined that the dog was not acting aggressively, but was hungry and thirsty. They tempted the dog into a patrol car with a protein bar.

At the city’s animal shelter, the dog’s owner was located through its microchip.

But the dog wound up at the shelter again this week.

Carter said his new friend, renamed Chance, will come home with him on Saturday after getting a good bath and a clean bill of health from the shelter. Although he appears to be friendly and interacts well with other dogs, Carter said, Chance will get obedience training.

“When he comes to my house, he’ll have to contend with four dogs, two cats and six grandchildren,” Carter said. “He needs to be well-trained.”

The story of the officers’ canine encounter went viral on the Arlington Police Department’s Facebook page last month, receiving more than 12 million views and thousands of comments from readers around the world, a department spokesman said. Many praised the department for not using lethal force on a dog of a breed that has been stereotyped as dangerous.

This report includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

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