There’s doing the right thing, and then there’s going above and beyond the call of duty. This story illustrates both principles.
Officers Neil Pesta and Brian Kellums responded to a call of animal abuse along their route in Cleveland, Ohio. When they arrived, they found that Peris Rice had severely beaten his 1-year-old pit bull.
According to witness accounts, Rice beat the dog with a belt, choked him, and threw a brick at the dog’s face.
Before officers arrived, one of the neighbors was able to get the poor dog away from Rice.
“When I exited the zone car, the dog jumped into the front seat of the zone car, sat down on the floor almost as if to say, ‘Let’s get out of here — thanks for coming,'” Pesta said.
They took the dog away before gathering more information and coming back for Rice.
Police arrested Rice, but the question remained: what should they do with the dog? He had bloody paws and a mark on his face from where the brick had struck him.
They took him to a shelter for treatment but told their fellow officers about the scene they had just witnessed.
One of those who heard the story, Officer Brandon Melbar, decided the dog needed some company.
Melbar hadn’t had a dog since he lived with his parents, so he chose to foster the dog. He named him Harvard, after the street where he was rescued from his abusive owner.
After a few days together, Officer Melbar and Harvard developed a bond. Melbar couldn’t see him going anyplace else.
“I said, you know, I’d foster him until we found him a home. And then, now that I’ve had him at home he’s just been a great dog so I just decided to keep him,” Melbar told WJW-TV.
Melbar also said that Harvard isn’t aggressive at all, which makes him wonder how his previous owner could have been so violent with him.
“He plays with my cat, my neighbor’s dogs — he doesn’t growl or bark at them or anything. He’s just been pretty lovable,” Melbar told reporters.
“I don’t know, maybe he just made a mistake,” Melbar said of Rice’s beating. “Maybe he wasn’t thinking right when it happened.
“But it doesn’t really matter anymore,” he continued. “I got the dog now so he’s got a good home.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.