It seems like there’s a story in the news just about every week about a cop who shoots a dog even though less lethal alternatives are available (like the San Diego officer who shot Burberry, a beloved service dog). Fortunately, on the other hand, there are plenty of police officers who have gone out of their way to save dogs in distress (like the heroes who untied Cabela from railroad tracks as a train approached).
While it’s heartwarming to hear about police officers saving dogs — and, yay, sometimes adopting them later — a compassionate sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles has taken it a step further by starting her own animal rescue for the strays she finds both on and off duty.
When Brittany Fraser was assigned to the L.A. County Parks Bureau in 2012, she noticed many stray and abandoned pets in parks across the county. It motivated her to start Brick Animal Rescue (Brick is a combination of her and her husband Nick Resendez’s first names), which she runs out of her home in Torrance, Calif.
“As much as I want to help people, it’s the same for animals,” Fraser told the Daily Breeze. “When people need help, they can ask for it. But dogs can’t. They don’t have a voice. You have to be paying attention.”
Fraser has rescued and cared for more than 100 animals, according to an L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. (LASD) press release.
“After all possible efforts are made to contact the animal’s potential owners, the animals are bathed; rid of fleas, worms and ticks; vaccinated; micro-chipped; and spayed or neutered,” notes the LASD.
“Some of the animals receive veterinarian treatment for mange, broken bones, etc. Each one learns basic commands, get his/her own collar, and is fed a healthy diet. They are temperament tested and socialized with people, kids and other pets to help determine suitable homes and re-establish faith and trust in people. When physically and emotionally ready, the animals are shown, and eventually adopted out to families who will provide them a lifelong home.”
Fraser pays for all these expenses. Until they are adopted, the dogs and cats stay at her home or in a local kennel that gives her a discount.
Fraser’s former supervisor, Sgt. Craig Berger, told the Daily Breeze she set a precedent for how law-enforcement officers should treat stray animals.
“Before, they would just ignore the problem or maybe, occasionally, if they had time, they might call animal control,” he said. “Eventually, the culture was created to call Deputy Fraser.”
Berger himself did just that one night when he saw two Pit Bulls eating trash on the on-ramp to a busy freeway.
“Pre-Brittany Fraser, I probably would have had no choice but to take them to animal control, and that would have been a death sentence,” he told the Daily Breeze. “But I was able to call her from the freeway, tell her what happened and drive them to her house. She took care of them and took them to the vet.”
Fraser’s efforts are truly a win-win: Not only has she helped improve the way L.A. police officers deal with strays, but she is also helping save those animals’ lives.
The Humane Society of the United States reports that of the 6 to 8 million dogs and cats who enter U.S. shelters every year, 2.7 million are euthanized.
Fraser is working to reduce that number, one animal at a time. “We can all do our part by spaying and neutering, and making adoption our first option!” she said in the press release.