An Arlington police officer’s act of kindness towards a pit bull is going viral. Sergeant Gary Carter went out on a call from some people worried about a vicious dog, but when he arrived, he realized it was the dog that needed help.
Arlington Police Sergeant Gary Carter has always been a big fan of dogs – which is why he now has a lot of fans himself.
“I’m still kind of speechless on how this has turned out,” said Carter. “I never expected this at all.”
On Thursday, he and another officer went out to the 400 block of N. East Street, where some people had reported seeing an aggressive pit bull walking around.
“People, unfortunately, when they see a pit bull, they don’t see a lost dog,” said Carter. “They see something that in their mind is extremely dangerous.”
When they went to check things out, they quickly determined that wasn’t the case.
“He was friendly,” said Carter. “He was, I think, more trying to make friends than hurt anybody.”
The Arlington Police Department, like many other agencies, has responded to aggressive dog calls in the past that end with the dog being shot. They say those incidents are very traumatic for the entire community – and they want to minimize them. That’s why last year, they began stepping up training for all of their officers.
“We had training to show us what to look for in a dog,” said Sgt. Jeff Houston, spokesperson for the Arlington Police Department. “That way we can tell what their demeanor is and if they’re truly an aggressive dog.”
Carter took the dog, whose name is Jeffrey, to Arlington Animal Services.
In an effort to find his owner or find him a new home, Arlington Police wrote a post on facebook describing the situation. As of 5:00pm Friday, that post had been viewed more than 4 million times, and had nearly 74,000 likes and 7,800 comments.
“It makes me feel good that I’ve had that kind of a positive response,” said Carter. “Maybe people can realize that first of all, not all big dogs are dangerous and second of all, not all police officers are out to shoot big dogs. Because we’re not.”
Fortunately, Jeffrey had a microchip and was reunited with his owner, Antonio Mireles, Friday morning. Mireles says Jeffrey, who he just got last week, escaped through his fence.
“I really appreciate that,” said Mireles. “[Sgt. Carter] did a great job.”
Carter says the only thank you he really needed, though, was watching Jeffrey go home.