NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Officers had an unexpected overnight visitor Friday, taking care of a resident’s dog after he was transported to a local hospital.
Lt. Tony Lee, the nightshift supervisor, said the day shift had brought in their station guest, Jasmine, after her elderly owner was taken to the hospital and there was no one available to care for her. Officers put Jasmine in a cage the department keeps in the garage for such occasions.
But they quickly found Jasmine wasn’t happy with the arrangement. Lee said he checked on her Friday evening and said she’d destroyed a hard plastic food bowl and had bent the metal bars of the cage by chewing on them.
“She was determined to get out of the cage — she just hadn’t made it yet,” Lee said. “So obviously at that point we took her out, because she’d already started to hurt her paws and her mouth so we were afraid she was really going to tear herself up. So we took her out and brought her in with our dispatchers and they just kind of dog-sat for the night.”
After the dispatchers left for the evening, officers filing paperwork and reports found a new friend curled at their feet. Lee said she wasn’t much of a bother and was friendly around people, lifting her head up to be petted by passers-by. Even in the short periods she was left alone in the station, Jasmine was content.
“This dog, you could tell she was not happy about being in a cage,” he said. “But as soon as we brought her in, perfectly content. Laid right now, was relaxed, wanted to be with people. I think it was more of separation anxiety if I had to guess.”
Lee said it’s not unheard of for officers to bring a dog into the station, but it is rare.
“I remember one time we had one back there and it actually kept hitting the cage with its paw until it had gotten the locks to like unlatch and got out of the cage and was running around our garage,” he said, laughing. But the majority of the department’s overnight guests stay in the cage, he said.
North Ridgeville police usually hold dogs 24 to 48 hours in-house before turning them over to the county kennel. For lost dogs, an officer in the department is quick to post their pictures to social media, resulting in roughly 90 percent of found dogs being returned to their owners, Lee said.
Jasmine’s story was a little different, but it still made it to the department’s social media.
“She just laid at everyone’s feet, got pet a lot, and ate treats. Not a bad life,” the post said. “… Hopefully we didn’t spoil her too much.”
Lee said after Jasmine spent roughly 18 hours at the station, officers were able to contact a family member of her owner and the pair were reunited.