Cop's Puppy Gift Lifts Spirits of Fire-Stricken North Carolina Family

Gift raises children out of depression

A Rowan County, N.C. police officer helped lift a family's spirits by giving them a new dog to replace their two family pets that died in a kitchen fire.

Leanne Pollard, who lost everything after her home caught fire on Sept. 30, told a bank teller that pit boxers Pumpkin and Bessy had also perished in the blaze. Word of mouth took it from there.

The officer who learned of the story knew one of his colleagues had a new litter of puppies. So he gave them a new bulldog, who the family named Thumper.

Pollard told WSOC that the act of kindness helped pull her children out of depression. "She's filling that void for us," Pollard said.

It was 8-year-old son Zane who first smelled smoke in the home and called for help. "I was just thinking about the house and my mom and dad, " he told the station.

Officer Kaiser, who was raising the litter of new puppies, said he couldn't imagine losing his dogs and wanted to help.

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November 07 2013 at 12:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To Donna Ray: I suppose I was fortunate that I tried to save my dog (a wonderful German Shepherd, named Prince) before the authorities were armed with Tasers. When we were finally able to pull him from the fire-ravaged building; they tried to revive him, after I desperately tried to give him mouth-to-mouth resucitation! It was all in vain; Prince was dead. I won't tell you how long ago that happened, because it still hurts.

November 06 2013 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Help me understand something here: How does one manage to get themselves out of a home on fire but not their pets? Didn't anyone think about the pets stuck inside the house as they were racing to get out? The first thing i'm going to do is find my pet(s) and ensure they're in my arms or attached to a leash in my hand. The kid had time to smell the smoke and warn his parents, but did anyone in that family call their dogs to come outside with them? No need to answer that question... I already know what it is.

November 06 2013 at 8:58 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RJM's comment

If a pet is frightened, or feels threatened; there is nothing you can do to coax them to come to you in such situations as a fire or a severe storm. Just as when an animal is gravely ill, they will try to hide somewhere that you can't find them. Don't blame this family, they probably tried to save their dogs; you don't "already know what it is". I tried to save my dog from the fire we had; I ripped a solid metal door off it's hinges, and was ready to go in and save him. It took three firemen to hold me back (a 110 lb. woman). Don't try to assume that this family didn't do enough, because you just don't know!

November 06 2013 at 9:11 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Donna Ray

Why is it that police keep outright killing dogs (and have killed hundreds upon hundreds of beloved family dogs) in the dogs own yards and many of these dogs have even been behind FENCES and cops still outright kill them, then one cop gives a family a dog and it's big news? I would advise this family to keep this dog indoors! Oh wait, the cops kill dogs inside the dogs own homes as well. Is this like a fat person at a cafeteria with a tray loaded down with food but the diet pepsi is supposed to cancel out all the fat, grease, carbs and calories? I think not. I feel very badly for the family but it is apparent that the cops just wanted to put out some good press for a change. But to give a dog when the cops use dogs as target practice? Ridiculous. If this cop REALLY wanted to help he should have given the family cash, not another mouth to feed and vet bills. But hey, he's got a litter of pups anyway he can't pawn off on people. So kill two birds with one stone, right?

November 06 2013 at 8:33 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Donna Ray's comment

You really have a hatred of police officers, don't you?

November 06 2013 at 8:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Luvucats's comment
Donna Ray

Let me make this crystal clear, I have more love for animals in their own fenced yards, homes and vehicles than I do for those who slaughter them.

November 06 2013 at 8:58 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down

I don't doubt your love of animals, but your people skills need a little work.

November 06 2013 at 9:15 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Luvucats's comment
Donna Ray

Sorry Luv, I had just came from seeing this article: Missouri Police Tasered Desperate Father Trying to Save 3-Y-O Son as He Dies Helplessly in House Fire (Police tased the father three times!!), when I came upon this one. I love people as well, and with all due respect, I do not feel that I am the one that needs to work on people skills, I believe it's the police that needs to work on people skills AND animal skills as well.

November 06 2013 at 9:24 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down

I have owned and loved companion animals all my life. I, too, lost a beloved pet in a fire. It's such a wonderful healing gesture that this police officer made for this family. Although they cannot replace the pets they lost; this is a new beginning.

November 06 2013 at 8:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What is a pit boxer? a mixed breed? Its wonderful the kids got new puppy

November 06 2013 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
linda bartlett

They are going to love their new dog. American Bulldogs are absolute sweethearts. Very mild-mannered, easy-going and they don't bark at everything that moves.

November 06 2013 at 4:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It's very difficult to lose a pet. For real
animal lovers you don't know what it's
like until you experience it personally.

All dogs go to heaven.

November 06 2013 at 4:13 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

That was a lovely thing the police officer did. It will take a while for the family to deal with the trauma of the fire and to grieve the loss of their pets. But a new puppy will be a welcome distraction, especially for the little boy.

November 06 2013 at 4:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Good job, buddy.

November 06 2013 at 4:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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