"When we typically find a dog, usually they have tags on them or a chip," said Officer Matthew O'Hanlon. "We can take them to the local animal hospital and have the owner found pretty fast."
Little Thor was different. He was found roaming an industrial area of a business-heavy part of town with no identification. He did, however, have a nasty mark on his forehead.
"My fiance and I were looking to get a pitbull, and when you see a pit bull puppy with an injury, it's hard to pass up on," said Officer O'Hanlon.
Thor had been sent to Burlington County Animal Shelter for treatment. But Officer O'Hanlon had made up his mind. Since no one was coming forward to claim the puppy, he wanted to take him home. His last dog was a pit bull, and O'Hanlon says they are affectionate and loyal companions despite the stigma that surrounds them.
"Boy, it makes you feel good that you can help a little puppy like that go from whatever happened to him to now knowing how spoiled he's going to be for the rest of his life," he said.
Officer O'Hanlon, 26, is a three-year veteran of the police department.
"I like going to work, not knowing exactly what's going to happen," he said. "You name it, we deal with it whether it's a goose call, a deer call, obviously people, even when it's a dog."
It's a challenging career especially in the face of a pandemic, but Officer O'Hanlon says he always has family to lean on.
"I go to work, try to be as safe as possible, get home to see the family," he said. "Get home to see the puppy now."
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