Savannah police officers responding to a report of a fire in a trash can made a horrific discovery Saturday morning: a badly burned puppy that they pulled to safety.
Officer cam footage released Tuesday shows the two officers pulling the puppy from a garbage can about 1:15 a.m. on the western edge of Savannah, an industrial area near the Garden City Terminal of the Georgia Ports Authority. It was just hours before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon was set to launch.
Here’s what happened. A security guard saw two juveniles push a garbage can around a corner, according to a Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department press release. When the guard went to investigate, he saw smoke coming from the can and immediately called 911. The two juveniles ran away, the release said.
When Savannah officers Lauren Smith and Marquis Dillard arrived, they found a puppy inside.
On the footage, the security guard is heard telling the officers that he came outside after “I heard a noise, like something was rolling.
“After they saw me, they took off running,” the guard said of the kids. “I couldn’t see them after they made the dark corner ... couldn’t see what they were wearing.”
According to the press release, the puppy, who was burned over 15 percent of her body and suffered from smoke inhalation, was brought to Savannah Animal Care, an emergency hospital in Savannah where it has been receiving treatment.
An employee who helped treat her named her Phoenix, after the mythical bird in Greek mythology who rose from the ashes.
Anna Hairston, a vet assistant at the hospital, said Phoenix is estimated to be about 6-9 months old.
“She had a few burns around her feet and head. She was very lucky,” she said. Hairston said the puppy will make a full recovery based on the reports from the veterinarian and because “she really likes to eat.”
Keturah Greene, of the police department’s public affairs office, said on Tuesday that no arrests have been made.
Police are encouraging anyone with information to contact Savannah CrimeStoppers at 912-234-2020.