Both Hemingway, 8, and his owner, a police officer, have had quite an ordeal, but they’ve been happily reunited after efforts by veterinarians and members of their Jacksonville, FL, community.
Missing for two days following a burglary at the officers home, friends organized a search party and two volunteers found the dog less than a mile from his home.
Hemingway suffered a gunshot wound to the snout during the course of the burglary and had to have a small section of his jaw removed as a result. Affiliated Veterinary Specialists performed the surgery, the cost of which was covered through charitable donations.
“I want to thank the community of Jacksonville for rallying behind me and finding this dog,” said the officer, who News4Jax did not name. “This dog and I are going to testify against this suspect to make sure justice is taken care of.”
Patrick Bell, 14, was arrested after police said he crashed while evading police in Hemingway’s owner’s stolen truck. Bell is charged with armed burglary, auto theft, one count of aggravated battery on an officer and three counts of aggravated assault on an officer. The latter charge means Bell could be tried as an adult.
The women who found the dog told News4Jax that Hemingway was “a little skittish” on approach.
“I moved slowly towards him and he walked by me. He didn’t want to be touched yet,” Jeannie Forney said. “So I followed him down and he curved into the fenced enclosure … he let me get him. We gave him some treats and he never stopped shaking.”
The volunteers who found and returned the dog declined the $1,000 reward the officer had offered. He said he would donate the money to charity, instead.
Watch Hemingway’s reunion with his owner here: