Local News

July 10, 2014

Dalton police officer acts to save injured dog

A dog hit by a car in the middle of Walnut Avenue is getting a second chance at life thanks to the actions of a Dalton police officer and his family.

The dog, a Dalmatian, was rescued by Officer John Gurrieri, who took on part of the cost of her care out of his own pocket.

Gurrieri was sent to a call of an injured dog on East Walnut Avenue on Sunday, June 30. Gurrieri found the Dalmatian with an obviously badly broken front left leg. The dog was otherwise apparently uninjured and was able to walk on three legs.

Despite being hurt, the Dalmatian was friendly to the point of trying to jump into Gurrieri’s patrol car. There are no emergency vet services in Dalton on the weekend, so there were few options for the Dalmatian’s care. Instead of calling for animal control, which might have put the dog at risk of being euthanized, Gurrieri took the dog home. His family named the dog Victoria and drove her to the RIVER (Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergencies and Referrals) veterinary clinic in Chattanooga and paid more than $400 to have the dog’s leg put into a splint.  

“My wife and I are huge dog lovers,” said Gurrieri. “When I saw the extent of the injuries was only what appeared to be a broken leg, I just couldn’t allow myself to see that dog be put down.”

Surgery for Victoria’s leg, however, would cost more than $2,000. Family members of other Dalton officers got involved from there. Searching the Internet, they found the Dalmatian Rescue of South Florida which agreed to cover the cost of amputating the dog’s broken leg and to adopt the dog. Victoria will serve as a goodwill ambassador for the organization which is based in Miami.

Victoria had surgery Wednesday in Chattanooga to amputate her shattered leg and the Gurrieri family will drive her to Macon on Saturday to meet a plane which will carry her to her new home in the Sunshine State.  

“I talk to my children all the time about character,” said Gurrieri. “How can I stand to look at them knowing that I allowed a good dog with minor injuries to be put down?”

Dalmatian Rescue of South Florida is raising funds on its Facebook page to cover the cost of the dog’s surgery. More information can be found at www.dalmatianrescue.com and also the organization’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/dalmatianrescue.dalmatianrescue).

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