Officer John Gurrieri from the Dalton Police Department in north Georgia received a call from emergency dispatchers about a dog who’d been hit by a car. Officer Gurrieri rushed to the scene.
“When I arrived, she was lying right next to the sign. I walked up, she was grinning. She was wagging her tail,” Officer Gurrieri tells WDEF. “She appeared to be hurt, but seemed pretty happy. Eventually got up on her legs and I observed what appeared to be one broken leg.”
The poor dog’s leg was in awful shape, but Officer Gurrieri was determined to do whatever possible to help her.
“My wife and I are huge dog lovers,” Gurrieri tells the Dalton Daily Citizen. “When I saw the extent of the injuries was only what appeared to be a broken leg, I just couldn’t allow myself to see that dog be put down.”
“Right away, I tried to get on the phone with anyone and everyone I could think of that might be able to help, or supply some medical care for her,” he says.
Even though the Dalmatian was obviously in pain, she tried desperately to jump into Officer Gurrieri’s squad car. Gurrieri knew the dog would need a lot of TLC, but he also knew the Dalmatian would need a name. He decided to call her Victoria.
Officer Gurrieri needed to get the wounded pooch to a veterinarian immediately, but all the veterinary clinics in town were closed. So Gurrieri drove out of state to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he paid $400 to the Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergencies and Referrals (RIVER) clinic for a leg splint.
Victoria’s leg was more injured than previously thought, however; the veterinarian broke the news that Victoria would need a $2,000 surgery to amputate her leg. Determined to give Victoria a fighting chance, Gurrieri contacted his buddies back at the police department and an organization called Dalmatian Rescue of South Florida (DRSF), WSBTV reports.
When DRSF heard Victoria’s tale, they offered to not only cover the cost of Victoria’s surgery, but to give her a happy new home as their new mascot.
“They’ve been on the hunt for a goodwill ambassador,” Officer Gurrieri explains. “This will be a great time for them.”
Though Gurrieri wishes he could keep Victoria for himself, he says he and his wife have three kids, a dog, and a cat already. He just wants what is best for Victoria.
Officer Gurrieri will be picking Victoria up from the vet today and dropping her off with a foster family nearby for a week. Then, after she recovers a bit from her surgery, Victoria will head off to her new home in Florida.