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Forsyth County deputies comfort injured German Shepherd for hours
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Forsyth County Animal Services takes an injured German Shepherd found Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. - photo by Ben Hendren

It was just after 4 a.m. Monday, Feb. 3, when Josh Day, a deputy with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, and his recruit, Deputy Jonathan Davis, responded to a call about a dog laying in Little Mill Road just off Keith Bridge Road.

When they arrived, the deputies found a young German Shepherd partially in the roadway. The dog had no collar, Day said, but it was bleeding, and its leg appeared injured.

When Day approached the dog, it growled and tried to run away.

“I’m sure she felt vulnerable not knowing what I was there to do,” Day said

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Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Deputy Josh Day approaches an injured German Shepherd found on Little Mill Road near Keith Bridge road on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. - photo by Ben Hendren

But Day noticed something else: its tail was wagging.

“So I knew it was a friendly puppy,” he said.

Eventually, Day and Davis were able to safely move the German Shepherd off the roadway until Forsyth County Animal Services arrived.

For two hours, the deputies stayed with the dog and cared for it.

“I am compassionate for animals,” Day said. “Like children, they can’t speak for themselves, so we as humans must look after them.”

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Forsyth County Sheriff's Office deputies Josh Day and Jonathan Davis stayed with an injured German Shepherd for two hours Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, until Forsyth County Animal Services arrived. - photo by Ben Hendren

Day isn’t sure what led to the Shepherd’s injury, but he suspects it was struck by a vehicle. The driver probably thought the Shepherd was a coyote, Day says.

“There are a lot of coyotes in and around that area,” he said.

Day tried to put the dog at ease “so that she understood we were there to help,” he said. One of his first instincts was to get the Shepherd some water. There was none left in his patrol vehicle, so he contacted another deputy who brought some in a QT cup. Davis knelt down and let the Shepherd drink from it.

“She drank the whole thing,” Day said.

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Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jonathan Davis gives an injured German Shepherd water Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. - photo by Ben Hendren

When Animal Services arrived, Day and Davis helped put the Shepherd in a truck, then went back to the North Precinct.

Their shift was over, but Day and Davis kept thinking of the injured animal. They checked social media for any signs that someone was missing a German Shepherd. Day contacted some friends who work with the Southern Cross GSD Rescue, a small rescue that helps German Shepherds in northeast Georgia out of Clarkesville, to reach out to Animal Services.

In the days after, Day tried to keep tabs on the dog. He couldn’t help but be curious. Day owns a German Shepherd himself, named Rome, who he got through the Southern Cross GSD Rescue. Day says Rome gets along well with his pet rabbit, Mad Hatter, a Holland Lop.

On Tuesday, the German Shepherd was in stable condition and being treated for a fracture by the county’s emergency vet, according to Karen Shields, director of communications with Forsyth County.

Day and Davis played a role in that outcome, but they’re more concerned with the German Shepherd’s recovery than their own actions that early Monday morning.

“The service my recruit and I provided to the Shepherd would have been the same across the board with any one of my co-workers,” Day said. “I just hope the Shepherd can make a full recovery and is able to locate her family or a new forever.”