Officer Fosters Puppy After Serious Crash, Reunites With Family

Officer Fosters Puppy After Serious Crash, Reunites With Family


Cabazon, CA

An officer responded to a serious auto accident earlier this month to pick up a puppy that was inside the wrecked car. Riverside County Animal Services Officer Marcel Martinez got to the scene, picked up the dog, rolled out, but he said he couldn’t stop thinking about one of the comments made by one of the emergency responders.

“A California Highway Patrol officer told me that one of the victims was in the back of an ambulance pleading to take the dog with him to the hospital,” Officer Martinez said. “That really stuck with me. I said to myself, man, this guy really loves his dog.”

The accident happened in the Cabazon area on the afternoon of April 4. According to a CHP incident report, a right, rear tire sustained damage while the driver was traveling eastbound in the No. 1 lane on Interstate 10. The driver could not maintain control and, ultimately, the car ended up in a dirt embankment, hit a tree and rolled. The car eventually ended up on Railroad Avenue, east of Main Street.

Since the dog was so young, Officer Martinez decided to foster the white, female poodle mix. Now it’s time for a reunion for Blanca, as the little dog is called by her family. The reunion ran into some early snags because the Azusa family could not drive out to retrieve Blanca, the now 8- week-old dog. Part of the problem was connected to the accident in Cabazon. The family’s vehicle was totaled and making it back to Riverside County was problematic.

So, Officer Martinez got the OK to take the dog to the family. The reunion will happen today (Friday, April 21). Unfortunately, the family does not want to be interviewed by news media. But, nonetheless, the dog will be heading back to its rightful home.

Officer Martinez said he understands the bond someone can have with a pet. In May 2015 he adopted a stray Chihuahua after he retrieved the injured dog. “I picked the dog up near Lake Elsinore and it was all jacked up,” the officer said. “One of its eyes was hanging out of the socket. But despite all that he had wrong, he was the happiest dog you’d ever meet. No matter what he had to endure, he was so loving.”

In fact, the officer said, the dog he would call Alfie changed his perspective on life. “It’s easy to get jaded in this job, because we see so much bad happen to animals. But that little dog, all three pounds of him, changed my perspective. If he could be so happy, I could look at the bright side of things more often too.”