Los Angeles: On Monday, December 17, 2001, at 6:15 p.m., Sharon Arnold’s two year-old German Shepherd "Happy" was struck by a car on the 8800 block of South Hoover Street and seriously injured. The Arnold’s had just moved into their home and did not own a car and they had no way of immediately seeking medical treatment for Happy. Sharon and her five year-old daughter, along with her nine year-old son, went to their neighbor’s house for help. The neighbor called the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southeast Community Police Station.
Officers Francis Coughlin and Norman Vargas responded along with Officers Rafael Lara and Walter Mcmahon. Officers Coughlin and Vargas took Sharon and Happy to a veterinary clinic in Lawndale, while Officers Mcmahon and Lara followed with the children. When they arrived they discovered the hospital was closed. The officers refused to give up and instead, went to another clinic in Torrance.
The officers left the Arnold’s and Happy at the clinic, since it would take hours for treatment. However, they realized that they needed to tackle the next problem of how to get the Arnold’s back home. The officers collected enough money among themselves and gave it to Sharon for cab fare.
On Thursday, December 20, 2001, Sharon called the station and advised the officers that Happy survived and expected to eventually make a full recovery.
The involved officers are commended for saving the life of a dog, which was a valued family member and for service beyond the call of duty.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.