CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB)– Some good news to end the year, two Cheektowaga police officers helped rescue a dog, and her human is saying thank you.
Police say they spotted a dog in Ellicott Creek near 4822 Genesee Street in Cheektowaga.
We’re told officers struggled to reach the dog, as the creek has a steep bank in a wooded area.
It was a perilous effort both for the dog, Gracie, and the officers who got her leading up to the moment she’s rescued.
Officer James Rutkowski knew what he had to do.
“The parking lot that I chose just happened to be lucky. I could hear the dog howling, So I knew I was close, and I know I had to act.”James Rutkowski, Cheektowaga Police Department
Gracie is a boxer recently saved from a puppy mill in Ohio.
Cheryl Pietromicca, whose passion is rescuing boxers, is currently fostering Gracie to adopt through Furever Friends.
“We adore Gracie. She’s already a member of our family, so we fully intend on adopting her as soon as we can.”Cheryl Pietromicca, Fostering Gracie
Cheryl was taking to Gracie to Lancaster Animal Hospital when Gracie got scared and ran off.
Lorissa Warden, who works for the animal hospital, spotted Gracie on the run and helped keep track of her until the officers arrived.
Warden can be heard on police body camera footage saying, “I saw her bobbing and her head was up downstream, and I saw her get to about that tree over there.”
Then they found Gracie.
“Jim hoisted it out of the water where it was stuck on the branch over to me, and then he kind of swung it over to me cause he was out on a limb, and I lifted up to someone else who was onshore.”Troy Blackchief, Officer, Cheektowaga Police Department
Pietromicca says, “thankfully the police showed up when they did and took the measures they did heroically to save her, it chokes me up just to think about it.”
“We were just both thankful that, you know, we were in the right place at the right time and that we were able to save the dog.”James Rutkowski, Cheektowaga Police Department
Office Blackcheif told us, “I have three dogs, so I really care for my dogs, and I’m sure the person who owns this dog really cares for [her] dog.”
“I can’t express in words the level of gratitude I feel for Lorissa and the police. Yeah. It’s amazing that people would go to those lengths to help me and Gracie.”Cheryl Pietromicca, Fostering Gracie
Both officers were happy to end 2020 on a high note.