Photo Of Sheriff’s Deputy Helping Dog Goes Viral
“It’s been a little overwhelming.”
That’s how Sgt. Chris Howlett of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office described the response after a photograph was shared of him comforting a dog struck by a car late last week.
“To be honest, I’m not the type to be in the spotlight or to go looking for attention,” Howlett told The Post-Journal.
Howlett and another deputy, Jason Beichner, were called Dec. 20 to a report of a dog struck by a vehicle in the area of Stockton-Hartfield and Beech Hill roads.
Upon arrival, the pair located the injured dog — a female mixed boxer breed named Rogue. Beichner left in an attempt to locate the animal’s owner while Howlett stayed to look after her.
“I parked my car up close to protect the dog and myself,” Howlett said. “She was in the ditch and moving a little. It was a very cold morning, so I went back to my vehicle and grabbed my jacket.”
“I walked back to the dog, and it was obvious she was very stressed. I gently walked up to the dog and put my jacket on her.”
It’s not the first time Howlett has come across an injured animal. In 2012, he and his wife found a cat that also had been struck by a vehicle. One of the cat’s legs had to be amputated, but was soon adopted by the pair and remains a member of the family.
While waiting for Rogue’s owner, a photo was snapped of Howlett and the dog. The image made its way to Sheriff James Quattrone, who shared it on the department’s Facebook page with the caption: “In the time that there seems to be negative press, this shows a bit of compassion on the part of law enforcement and specifically our deputies. Sgt. Chris Howlett caring for a dog that had been struck by a vehicle.”
Howlett wasn’t aware the image had been posted nor of the attention it quickly received online. While he looked after Rogue, Beichner visited nearby homes until finding the dog’s owner.
“The owner described the dog and we said, ‘Well, we have a dog with that description down here,'” Howlett said. “The owner came down and conformed it was her. We were about 200 yards from their house.”
Rogue was reunited with its owner and is said to be in good condition.
News of the kind act spread, not only locally, but across the country. The story was picked up by television stations as far away as Denver.
Quattrone said the incident highlights just a “small sample” of the great work done by deputies every day.