5 min read

Officers Go Above And Beyond To Save An Inmate's Dog

Jeffrey Menendez may be behind bars, but he has a reason to smile.

Menendez, who is homeless and living in Colorado, was charged with misdemeanors and ordered to serve 30 days in a Denver County jail - though that nearly resulted in a lifetime sentence of heartache. At the time of his arrest, for starting an illegal campfire, he was torn away from his only companion in the world: his dog, Bonnie.

As Menendez headed to jail, she was taken to a "kill" shelter run by the county.

Denver County Sheriff's Office

Denver County Sheriff's Office

Once behind bars, Menendez was inconsolable, and it soon became clear as to why. After failing to abide by one of the jail's rules, he was sent to speak with the jail captain, who noticed Menendez was in distress and offered a sympathetic ear.

"He was upset about his dog, because he didn't know what was going to happen to her," Simon Crittle, a Denver Sheriff Department spokesman, told The Dodo. "The inmate was very concerned that he'd never see his dog again. He was even more concerned that the dog might be put down."

That's when the officers at the jail decided to step in and help him.

"They just realized that this dog means everything to this man," said Crittle.

Denver County Sheriff's Office

Denver County Sheriff's Office

Bonnie, it turns out, was still alive - and authorities saw fit to make sure she stayed that way.

"The officers contacted the animal shelter, which is also a city run facility. They spoke to the folks that run the shelter and made arrangements for the dog to be held there for this inmate until he got out," Crittle said. "Apparently this is unusual for them to hold an animal like this, but they made an exception."

To fulfill the request to keep Bonnie, the shelter required that the cost of her care, $246 for the month, be paid for. For that, the officers contacted New Hope Cattle Dogs Rescue of Colorado, a non-profit group who offered to cover the fee.

Menendez was ecstatic to hear this news.

"The dog goes everywhere with him. He's a guy who's fallen on hard times, so I think that's a big reason why the dog is so important to him," Crittle said. "Now he's going to get out this weekend and get his dog back."

This isn't the first time officers have teamed up with the rescue group to make sure an inmates dog is looked after until they are released, says Crittle, describing them as dog lovers, too:

"We want to do the right thing."

For folks interested in pitching in, here's a link to New Hope Cattle Dogs Rescue of Colorado's donation page.