Miami-Dade County

Pembroke Pines police officers help find strays homes

A police officer is on patrol when a call for a stray dog comes in. The Pembroke Pines Police Department steps in and picks up the pooch. But what happens next?

"We set up the dog in our kennels, we make sure it has food and water and we begin the process to try to identify the rightful owner of the dog," said Capt. Al Xiques.

Pembroke Pines police will always come out for a stray animal call, but officers don't pass the buck and take the dog to the local shelter. Instead, that's when they get to work.

The station's animal assistance program utilizes social media and local rescue groups to blast out pics of the discovered dogs in hopes of finding their pet parents.

Since 2011, PPPD has picked up 500 animals -- even a wayward turtle. And in that three years they have successfully logged happy homecomings 60 percent of the time.

"The other 40 percent have either been successfully adopted or placed with foster families until they can get adopted, and some have also been sent to different rescues," Xiques said.

It's also a high-five for no taxpayer funding. Forty police officer volunteers, like Tracy Calvino, keep the reunion-making machine up and running.

"When their owners come, they get so excited and they are jumping up and down, and they practically break the cage open to get to their owners," said Calvino, who works with Pooches and Pines Rescue. "It's just an awesome feeling."

There's picture after picture in a memory book of saved pets, all rescued from the streets and reunited with owners as far away as Gainesville.

"It's likely that most of these dogs, if not for this program, are likely to have been euthanized," Xiques said.

But instead, they get home with a little help from their two-legged friends.

So it's pretty convenient that the dogs have police officers working to investigate to find their family members. They're skilled at what they do and beyond that, they do it on their own time.

"If I had a dog that was lost I would be heartbroken," Calvino said.

Instead, the officers are healing hearts and fighting crime all at the same time.

Click here to find out more about Pooches in Pines.

Follow Jacey Birch on Twitter @JaceyBirch

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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A police officer is on patrol when a call for a stray dog comes in. The Pembroke Pines Police Department steps in and picks up the pooch. But what happens next?

“We set up the dog in our kennels, we make sure it has food and water and we begin the process to try to identify the rightful owner of the dog,” said Capt. Al Xiques.

Pembroke Pines police will always come out for a stray animal call, but officers don’t pass the buck and take the dog to the local shelter. Instead, that’s when they get to work.

The station’s animal assistance program utilizes social media and local rescue groups to blast out pics of the discovered dogs in hopes of finding their pet parents.

Since 2011, PPPD has picked up 500 animals — even a wayward turtle. And in that three years they have successfully logged happy homecomings 60 percent of the time.

“The other 40 percent have either been successfully adopted or placed with foster families until they can get adopted, and some have also been sent to different rescues,” Xiques said.

It’s also a high-five for no taxpayer funding. Forty police officer volunteers, like Tracy Calvino, keep the reunion-making machine up and running.

“When their owners come, they get so excited and they are jumping up and down, and they practically break the cage open to get to their owners,” said Calvino, who works with Pooches and Pines Rescue. “It’s just an awesome feeling.”

There’s picture after picture in a memory book of saved pets, all rescued from the streets and reunited with owners as far away as Gainesville.

“It’s likely that most of these dogs, if not for this program, are likely to have been euthanized,” Xiques said.

But instead, they get home with a little help from their two-legged friends.

So it’s pretty convenient that the dogs have police officers working to investigate to find their family members. They’re skilled at what they do and beyond that, they do it on their own time.

“If I had a dog that was lost I would be heartbroken,” Calvino said.

Instead, the officers are healing hearts and fighting crime all at the same time.

Click here to find out more about Pooches in Pines.

Follow Jacey Birch on Twitter @JaceyBirch

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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Pembroke Pines police officers help find strays homes

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