A four-legged officer joins animal control

A four-legged officer joins the team at Saginaw County Animal Care and Control. (Photo credit: WSMH/WEYI)

Until a couple of weeks ago, there were three animal control officers in the field in Saginaw County.

Now, officers have an extra set of "hands" helping them on the job.

Animal control officers are usually in the field alone, but Officer Joaquin Guerrero has a new sidekick named Chief.

"We got a four-legged officer now that can help out," Officer Guerrero said.

At just six months old, Chief was surrendered to the Saginaw Animal Care and Control and his fate behind bars soon changed.

"I said, you know what, I can if you want to, I'd be more than willing to foster this dog and get him on the right track," he said.

Two weeks later and Chief is already out helping Officer Guerrero on the job.

"They had a pit bull that was running stray and the dog would run when we go close to it," Officer Guerrero said. "Then all of a sudden, Chief spotted it and started barking and what does the dog do? The dog comes running to the truck and then we were able to get a live trap and get the dog inside."

He said Chief is already an asset in the field and an educational tool in the classroom.

"I've used him to go into schools and kind of shared with them," he said. "Telling, educating the students what to do if they come across a stray dog."

For now, it's mostly man's best friend helping man's best friend. But Officer Guerrero said he hopes to train him to be the "Chief" of all trades, helping veterans and helping the county with evidence tracking.

"The dog is being utilized as much as we can to show in a positive aspect that Chief can help the community, along with what we're doing," he said.

Officer Guerrero worked for the Saginaw County Police Department and wore various hats there. He also helped to start Saginaw City's Police K-9 Unit.

He said when he saw a young German Shepard, like Chief, getting surrendered, he just couldn't resist.

If you're interested in donating to help with Chief's training, Officer Guerrero said to contact the Saginaw County Animal Care and Control.

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