Caring Officer Saves One Very Lucky Dog: A Post-Thanksgiving ‘Dogtale’

A deputy in Central Florida has earned some post-holiday love from a local family.

Corporal Ben Thorpe from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office was en route to work in the early morning hours today, when he spotted a large dog wandering down State Road 408, a very busy expressway.  The dog was in obvious distress and in grave danger of being hit by one of the 55-mph vehicles speeding by.

Corporal Thorpe pulled his car over, ran into traffic and pulled the dog to safety.   He brought the large, sweet red dog, who resembles a chow-shepherd mix, to the Sheriff’s Office, to try to find his missing family.  The dog had no collar, but was wearing a blue bandana.  The bandana had ‘VCA’ on it, along with a toll-free phone number.

Courtesy, OSCO

Upon calling that number, Corporal Thorpe was told the dog’s name was ‘Teddy Bear’.  The staff at VCA Animal Hospital then notified Teddy Bear’s owners, who live in Apopka, Florida.

For four days, Teddy Bear’s family had been searching frantically for their beloved seven-year-old pet, who had escaped from a relative’s home in downtown Orlando on Thanksgiving night.  Every day, Jessica and her family kept coming up empty handed.

Until today … when they were all reunited at the Sheriff’s Office!  Teddy Bear had a few scrapes from his ordeal, but is otherwise okay.  OSCO released this message on their Facebook page: 

‘We love serving the citizens of Orange County, and Corporal Thorpe definitely made a difference in saving Teddy Bear from harm, and delivered him back into the arms of his loving family!’

Courtesy, OSCO

Paws up for Corporal Thorpe!! advises all pet owners to microchip their animals, and consider writing their phone number in indelible ink on the reverse side of their collars.  And check out this feature on, hosted by actor John Hamm; you’ll learn how rescued shelter dogs get a second chance as K9 partners in police departments.

Lisa Blanck

Writing articles about animals for more than 22 years, she dove into the rescue world with the onset of Hurricane Katrina. As an outspoken advocate for animals, she's covered everything from paws to hooves, fins to feathers. She was the Orlando Animal Rescue and Worldwide Animal Issues Examiner for seven years. She's always thinking pawsitive, looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. She lives with one dog, one cat and one patient human. She welcomes your suggestions and is thrilled to be part of the family!


  1. Ron Johnson says:

    Thanks to all who helped this dog. I wish all of us had this kind of humanity, it would make the world a better place.

  2. Lynne says:

    Yea! Love this and thank you officers as you are definitely animal lovers!!! May every police station and sheriff’s office employees follow this wonderful example!!!!

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