POST FALLS, Idaho - Police and firefighters in Post Falls took a break from chasing criminals and fighting fires to rescue a golden retriever that was injured and unable to move from an old irrigation ditch near Falls Park.
"People don't realize that a police officer is a jack of all trades; we respond to a variety of different calls for service," Post Falls Police Chief Scott Haug said.
Monday night's call for service found officers responding to Falls Park, where a golden retriever mix was trapped in an irrigation ditch. Post Falls Police and Kootenai County firefighters responded to the scene where the dog had been injured and left in the ditch.
First responders were able to stabilize the dog and carried him out of the ditch.
"The dog was obviously dehydrated, if i were to guess, at least a day, it's really hard to tell how long," Haug said.
"Not only was the dog put into a basket and it was carried out of the channel it was put on a stretcher and transported to the pet hospital and that's the first time I have seen that happen," Haug added.
The dog was transported to Emergency Pet Care on Seltice Way where X-rays showed the dog had no broken bones but had some back injuries that will require some physical therapy. And, not knowing who he was, the staff at River City Animal Hospital, where the dog is now, gave him a name, too.
"We named him Bridger," Jessica Draper at River City Animal Hospital said. "He was found near a bridge so it kind of fit."
Initially first responders thought the dog had been deliberately injured and left in the ditch but now believe the dog just fell into the ditch and wasn't able to get out.
"He is in a lot of pain so we are trying to move him as little as possible so he can be comfortable, we have him on pain medication, animal antibiotics and steroids as well," Draper said.
Bridger will stay at the animal hospital for a few days and then get transported to a rescue shelter while police are still trying to find out who owns the dog, but they're also hoping the golden retriever is on the mend.
"Anytime you see someone suffering you want to step in and ease it a little bit," Haug said.
Haug said what his department did to help out this dog Monday night was a side of the police you don't normally get to see.
"This is the other side and I think the fun side of police work and maybe make a big difference," he said.
A gallery of the dog is attached to this story. If you have any information about who owns this dog, please contact Post Falls Police Animal Safety at 773-3517 or contact Post Falls Police through the department's website.
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