Editor's Note: Reporter Pat Battle was covering a story in Hackensack Friday when she encountered a small dog darting through the busy streets. With the help of a boy nearby, several police officers and some other people, the group corralled the stray dog — and became fast friends. This happened one day before NBC 4 and Telemundo 47's annual Clear the Shelters event. Read Pat's heartwarming story below.
It takes a village to clear the shelters.
Case in point: After filing my story for our 5 p.m. newscast Friday, I spotted a little black dog running across the lawn in front of the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack.
The closest person to her was about 50 yards away — a young boy who I assumed the dog had gotten away from and who was trying to catch her. Not. Ethan was only trying to help a dog he assumed was in trouble.
The streets were fast filling up with cars as people exited the busy courthouse on a Friday afternoon. The dog ran into the road, oblivious as the traffic surrounded her.
The boy was calling her, I was calling her — she listened but didn't obey.
A Hackensack police officer stopped his car to help and joined in the effort to catch the dog. The dog came when I called but dashed away when I tried to grab her. Thus began a 30-minute chase that brought 10 strangers together to catch a dog that weighs less than 10 pounds.
Three police officers, three children and four adults — including this reporter — spent the next 30 to 40 minutes trying to coerce and corral this little dog to safety.
We finally cornered her in a parking lot across the street. Sgt. Anthony DiParisi called for backup. Fortunately, the responding officer was the department's renowned dog whisperer, officer Sean Briggs, and his partner Jessica DeJesus.
Now the little black Chihuaua mix was hiding under a dumpster, lured out inch by inch with morsels of turkey and chicken we got from sources who shall not be named.
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After multiple failed attempts to snag her, Officer Briggs finally grabbed her, and the little dog seemed grateful for the rescue. Licking our hands and faces, tail wagging, she remained clutched in the officer's arms.
With no collar, he had to take her to see if she had a microchip. She's off to the Bergen County animal shelter where she will spend the next seven days.
If no one claims her, Ethan and his mom say they will be thrilled to adopt the little dog that we named "Go-Go" because she never stopped running until she felt the love.
You don't have to go through all this to rescue a little dog or a big one — just help us #ClearTheShelters on Saturday.