NH cop spends free time rescuing animals - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

NH cop spends free time rescuing animals

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By day, Officer Anthony Bonnier keeps the streets of New Hampshire safe as a Lebanon police officer. By night, he helps rescue animals, especially canine companions who have run away from home or are strays.

That's why S.A.V.E.S., or Small Animal Veterinary Emergency Services in Lebanon, decided to award Bonnier its first annual Citizen of the Year Award for bringing countless animals to its facility to be saved.

"To see somebody like that, that you're right, he just goes out after hours and he does this out of the goodness of his heart, nobody's paying him," said Jodi Kelly of S.A.V.E.S.

And one particular rescue stands out. A dog named Maggie had been missing for nine months after running away from her White River Junction home. Bonnier took an interest and made it his mission to find Maggie.

"The first day I tried to catch her and I had snow shoes, and I was pretty exhausted from snowshoeing, and I ended up coming across her and she just took off running and I wasn't able to catch her," Bonnier said.

But that didn't stop him.

"So I went back a second day and met up with a friend. We tracked her from where I saw her the previous day," he said. "She was sleeping, so I was able to pretty much grab her and get my hands on her and we got her here to S.A.V.E.S., where she got some help and ended up being adopted."

Bonnier says that his off-duty rescues have recently turned into on-the-clock responsibilities, too. He says that the Upper Valley has gotten an influx of calls for missing and stray animals. But whichever way the calls come, Bonnier is always the first one to answer.

"It's just an animal," he said. "You know, that night when I first tried to catch Maggie, thinking about her outside in the woods and you know it's like 5 below zero and knowing that the poor dog is outside without companionship and a family, it was kind of motivating for me."

And so far, all of Bonnier's cases have come out a paw ahead.

Click here for more on S.A.V.E.S.

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