Clinic Stories

A Model Policeman

While in college I lived and worked at the Penn State University livestock barns. Checking on the sheep one morning we discovered that several sheep had been mauled. The sheep were corralled and the vet came out. All were salvageable and the vet said that the wounds were from a dog. He also predicted that the dog would be back. The police were called and a vigil was set up. Two days later, we caught the dog in the pasture chasing sheep. The police officer involved asked that we bring the dog to his home.

He was an affable but no nonsense man in his early thirties with three young children at home when we arrived. He told us he would keep the dog at his house and place an ad for a found dog in the local newspaper with his home number. Several days later the owners called, came to the off duty officer’s home and were happy to say that yes, that was their dog. Their joy was short lived as the story unfolded and they learned that they would have to pay for damages. Restitution was made, the dog went home and was never seen roaming again.

All of this seemed routine to the police officer, but I admire his willingness to devote his home and personal time to this case. The problem was resolved in the best interest of all – the university, the family and the dog - without fanfare. In most cases, the dog would have been shot on sight.

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