Sacramento Police Dispatcher Adopts Shelter Dog Who Comforted Him after Tragedy

Sacramento police dispatcher adopts shelter therapy dog after tragedy

As she stood watch over a woman packing her things to leave during a domestic disturbance call, Officer Tara O’Sullivan with the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) was ambushed by Adel Sambrano Ramos, who shot and killed her. O’Sullivan was only 26 years old and had graduated from the Sacramento Police Academy just six months ago.

“She gave her young life while protecting our community,” Deputy Chief Dave Peletta told reporters the morning after the June 19 shooting. “There are no words to convey the depth of sadness we feel or how heartbroken we are for the family of our young, brave officer.”

The unidentified SPD dispatcher who monitored the tragedy is “the best of the best,” the department wrote on its Facebook page June 22, “and hearing those two words, ‘officer down,’ is every dispatcher’s worst nightmare.”

As they frequently do for police dispatchers after critical incidents, the Front Street Animal Shelter brought in some homeless dogs to provide the SPD dispatcher with some much-needed emotional therapy. The manager of the shelter happens to be a former dispatcher with this police department.

After they provide lots of furry comfort, the dogs are usually returned to the shelter. But that wasn’t the case with this dispatcher.

“This story, after the events of this week, is a little bit of light in the darkness,” the Sacramento Police Department wrote on Facebook. “Please indulge us.”

The dispatcher immediately hit it off with a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix from the Front Street Animal Shelter and decided to adopt him. He’s named his new family member Sullivan or “Sully,” in honor of the young fallen officer.

“We like to think they rescued each other,” the Sacramento Police Department wrote.

May Officer Sullivan rest in peace, and may the dispatcher and Sully enjoy many years of happiness together.

A scholarship in O’Sullivan’s name is being created at her alma mater, Sacramento State University. To find out how to make a donation, go to the university’s website.

To help support the Front Street Animal Shelter, visit its website.

Photo: Sacramento Police Department/Facebook

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!