Thank you Bruce Blackman and Shana Hagins, Brighton Police Animal Control!
Last Wednesday evening, black labs Ruby and Willie Clement stepped out as they usually do, but took off as they usually don't.
The dogs had traveled across the street before, to trot around the woods next to the Harley School. But Wednesday night was very cold and when the dogs didn't come back inside, their people went searching. They found Ruby at midnight, waiting in a driveway on Clover Street. Willie, the 1 year old puppy, was missing and Ruby was agitated and crying in distress. Willie's people searched the roadside, the woods, a creek bed, and even found and followed the dogs' tracks in the fresh snow, through the night.
Officers Blackman and Hagins of Brighton Police / Animal Control joined the search, and throughout the next day (Thursday) friends and family searched, and even concerned strangers helped spread the word on social media, posted Willie's picture on lost dog websites, and reached out to local rescue groups on the family's behalf. By late Thursday there seemed to be no likely place they hadn't searched at least twice. On Thursday night the city braced for bitter cold and driving winds, and the puppy was still lost.
While the family continued the search on Friday, they learned that Brighton Animal Control hadn't stopped searching, either. In the early afternoon Officer Blackman called with good news, and minutes later pulled into the family driveway with Willie perched happily on the front seat! The puppy was hungry and cold, but safe.
People of a certain generation have had their perceptions of Animal Control (dog catchers as villains) shaped by scenes from Lady & the Tramp, but Blackman and Hagins are all hero. They didn't know Wille or his family, and certainly didn't have to search for so long, in such bitter cold. They saved a beloved pet, and prevented broken hearts. It's a love story, for a very happy St. Valentine's Day.
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