By Andrea Gillhoolley
Lebanon Daily News, Pa.
LODONDERRY, Pa. — A patrolman who wants to start a K-9 unit in South Londonderry Township proved just how qualified he is to handle dogs during an unusual rescue Sunday afternoon.
Patrolman Nick Ague was on duty patrolling the township when he heard a crash that occurred shortly after 1:30 p.m. in the 700 block of East Main Street in Palmyra Borough.
He heard a report of two dogs running from a vehicle after it was involved in the crash. One of them, a border collie, was captured, but the other, a German shepherd, had fled toward South Lingle Avenue. The dog eventually made its way to a field near the Lebanon/Dauphin line.
"When we got there, we got close to it, but as soon as we exited our patrol vehicles, the dog started running from us," Ague said.
Several officers responding had stopped chasing the dog in an attempt to make it stop running. At that point, the dog's owner, Megan Smith, was on scene and walked toward the dog.
"A couple other officers were on scene," Ague said. "I was starting to pull away, but I asked if anyone had a leash. The dog was not willing to walk. It didn't want to budge. I had a lead on me. I got the lead that I keep in the trunk of the patrol car that I could attach to the dog's collar. But then I found out the reason the dog didn't want to walk. Her pads were all torn up from running on the hot asphalt because of the distance the dog managed to clear from the crash."
Smith was having trouble picking up the dog, so Ague knelt down and waited until the dog was comfortable with him before slowly hoisting her up and carrying her through the field toward the road.
"I carried her back, maybe 100 to 200 yards," he said. "As soon as I put her (in the owner's car) she was completely relaxed. I petted her for a bit, and I guess they took her then from the scene."
A person at the scene, who wanted to remain anonymous, took a photo of Ague as he carried the dog. The image was then posted on the South Londonderry Township police Facebook page.
The post struck a chord within the community and received accolades from Facebook commentators with more than 3,000 likes, 500 shares and 225 comments as of Monday afternoon.
Smith commented on the page, noting that, though the dog's pads are still sore, she is recovering from her injuries.
South Londonderry police Sgt. Gerry Cassel said this is not the first time Ague has gone above and beyond for animals in his eight years with the department.
"One of the reasons we posted this on Facebook is because this is not his first time doing this kind of stuff," Cassel said. "He is our animal guy. He's our dog guy when we need input. That's his thing. He's been doing things like that for years."
Ague said he'd like to get the K-9 unit started in the township and is waiting for the green light to start the program.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"It's always something I had an ambition to do ever since I was a kid," he said. "I always thought it would be nice to work with dogs, to be a K-9 officer. I just have such an admiration for dogs and working with them."
Copyright 2013 the Lebanon Daily News