The dog’s name is Fellony, but he’s a hero, not a criminal.
And after the 10-month-old, 90-pound mixed breed took a bullet to his leg when gunfire broke out on the street, stepping in front of his owner protectively, three Boston police officers stepped up to get him the help he needed.
“If he wasn’t in front of his owner at the time who knows what would have happened,” Officer David Lanteigne said at a press conference in the wake of the incident. “He was limping, and you could tell that he had obvious signs of distress. He was panting, drooling. He was possibly in shock, but he was with it.”
Lanteigne and Officer Brian Smith, along with Sgt. Tommy Brooks, took Fellony to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center, where they learned that the owner was unable to afford the necessary care.
Going above and beyond, the three decided to share the cost of the surgery, breaking out Brooks’ credit card to cover the bill.
“It’s just a natural human response to somebody in need and help them out with their family, and dogs are family, and I don’t think they get the credit they deserve sometimes,” Lanteigne said. “The way that I look at it, that dog put himself in front of his owner and took a bullet for him.”
And as we all know, emergency veterinary care isn’t chump change.
At press time, Fellony’s tab was already over $2,500, but officers say they’re willing to put up even more for whatever gets the dog back up on his feet.
“We’re hoping that the dog doesn’t lose his leg,” Lanteigne said.
It’s something with which he is familiar.
In 2012, his own mother was saved from an oncoming train by her own dog, a rescue pit bull named Lilly. The woman had fainted as the train approached and the engineer watched with amazement as the dog pulled her from the tracks, a heroic act that cost the dog a leg. Lanteigne later founded a nonprofit called Lilly the Hero Pit Bull, which raises money for dogs in need.
Fellony’s owner was suprised and touched by the officers’ generosity.
“He definitely wasn’t expecting it,” Lanteigne said. “He reached out to several family members. Unfortunately nowadays people are going through a lot of things to try to put meals on the table, never mind a couple thousand dollars for an unexpected traumatic injury.”
Life with Dogs salutes these officers for their daily bravery and for going above and beyond in their kindness.