Police officers have to do a lot of jobs in their communities. Not all of them make them popular—not like this one did.
Police officers have to deal with criminals, of course. Officers have to handle belligerent intoxicated people, and spouses fighting each other, who both turn on the officer when he or she tries to intervene.
And of course, people interact with law enforcement when driving too fast or running a stop sign—and even when we are at fault, sometimes feel resentful.
Hillsborough County, Florida, deputies Tara Quezada and Zachary Shute got a rare chance to do the kind of police work, which makes everybody happy. The Sheriff’s Office shared the incident on Facebook on March 20, so everyone could enjoy it.
Deputy Quezada was flagged down by residents from the neighborhood she was patrolling. The emergency? A puppy had fallen down a storm drain and was struggling to stay above water.
The deputy called her zone partner, Shute, who brought tools to help open the drain.
Once the heavy metal manhole cover had been moved, the deputies tried to reach down and grab the struggling canine—but the hole was too deep.
A neighbor contributed a net, but even with the added reach, the poor puppy was just too far below.
The intrepid officers refused to fail. They were determined to rescue the nearly drowning dog.
In an act of total trust and commitment, Quezada climbed headfirst into the storm drain while Shute held her belt. Quezada, hanging upside down over the swirling water, was able to use the net to snare to the hapless puppy.
The bedraggled dog was pulled to safety—but now the police had to find its owner—and no one stepped up to claim the poor pooch, which the deputies nicknamed “Poncho.”
Poncho got a free ride to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. Staff there will try to locate Poncho’s owner—and if no one claims the pup, the Pet Resource Center will find Poncho a new home.
So, the next time you drive by a police officer checking speeds with radar—don’t think badly. Instead, remember that the officer monitoring traffic might recently have been upside down in a storm drain risking life and limb to save a scared puppy.