Rescued dog’s new owners return to DIA to thank first responders who helped save it

DENVER – Denver police and paramedics come to the aid of people all the time. But several of them are being credited with rescuing a four-legged friend that was abandoned at Denver International Airport in December.

“On Dec. 16, we got a call that a man was trying to give his dog away. We checked and did not find that man. About a half hour later, we got another call that some man had walked into a restaurant and handed the leash to a waitress and made the comment [that] either she takes him or he is going to let him go outside, just let him go. We responded. The waitress was in tears,” Sgt. Virginia Quinones said.

Tammy Morland is that waitress. She’s also a dog lover.

“I told him, ‘Sir, I will take care of your dog,’ and he left. He couldn’t get out of there fast enough,” Morland said. She was unsure what to do, as she still had three hours left on her shift. That’s when three Denver Police Department officers stepped in to help.

“You could tell he was sad, depressed, didn’t want to eat. That day, he was just looking for his owner,” Officer Damon Marquez said. He and Officer Dennis Moran watched over the pup outside as they patrolled passenger pick up.

“It was kind of a first for me,” Officer Moran said.

Denver Health Medical Center paramedics pitched in as well.

“We folded up four to five blankets, filled up a water bowl and made him more comfortable. Denver Health paramedics take care of animals on occasion, but it’s usually when their owner is going through an emergency,” paramedic Matt Bacon said.

Morland and her sister Tracy have been rescuing and fostering dogs their whole lives. This one, who they named Prince, was meant to come to them.

“We were wondering how [to] actually get him in her pickup. As soon as she opened the door, he got up on the seat and sat there like, ‘This is my ride, ready to go home,'” Officer Moran said.

The officers then pooled some of their own money and gave it to the new owners to help cover some of the unexpected costs.

“I just love them. Thank you. There are good people still out there,” Tammy said.

“Just seeing him now, he’s a whole different dog. His tail is wagging, he’s happy. It’s a good feeling to know for that moment on that day, we made a difference in his life,” Sgt. Quinones said.

Prince is still receiving veterinarian treatment for a few issues. If you would like to donate, you can contact SILS Affordable Vet Care: 970-867-2380. SILS is located at: 17208 U.S. Highway 34, Fort Morgan, CO, 80701.

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