SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Over the past few weeks, Sarge, the approximately 15-year-old red nose pitbull left for dead in a vacant Front Street home earlier this year, and his human companion, South Plainfield Police Officer Anthony Louise, have received an out’pup’ering of support from the community.
TAPinto South Plainfield broke the story about Sarge late last month (https://www.tapinto.net/articles/south-plainfield-cop-takes-in-dog-left-for-dead-in-front-street-home) and, almost instantly, the pup and cop became local celebrities. Other New Jersey new outlets reached out to cover the story and large crowds gathered to meet Sarge during the following week’s police department-sponsored National Night Out event.
“The community has really shown a lot of support for him,” said Louise, a lifelong resident of the borough and member of the borough’s police force for the past four years. “South Plainfield has always been a police-friendly town and to see everyone come out and support Sarge has been amazing. I really appreciate it.”
According to Louise, dozens of community members who stopped by to meet Sarge at National Night Out also donated boxes of treats and toys and, most recently, Nischwitz Feed & Fuel of South Plainfield has stepped up to provide a year’s supply of the special nutritional dog food Sarge needs to keep his calories up.
“I want to thank them for offering to donate the food. That is very nice and it is really going to be a big help,” said Louise, telling TAPinto South Plainfield that he plans to go to Nischwitz to iron out the details and so that the business owners can meet Sarge.
Since being rescued back in June, Sarge has gained over 30 pounds pounds, all his fur has grown back, and his kennel cough has cleared up. He got the all clear to leave the shelter in July and, over the past month, has quickly become part of the Louise family.
Louise said Sarge is excellent with his kids, follows his wife Brittany around all the time, and lately, has been acting more and more like a puppy, running around, playing with their other two dogs. “It’s like he’s reverting back to being a puppy cause he didn't get to it do when he was younger,” he said. “He is eating up the attention and, at the same time, he is so mellow and such a big baby who lets the other dogs push him around.”
All the attention surrounding him and Sarge, said Louise, has garnered him a bit of good-natured teasing – including the nickname ‘Hollywood’ - from his fellow officers. “They are all busting my chops, but it’s to be expected…and I don't mind being messed with because of this,” he said, adding that with Sarge’s story spreading throughout New Jersey he has quickly become known as the ‘dog guy.’
Additionally, over the past two weeks, supporters have taken to Facebook as well as called and sent Louise letters to commend him for rescuing the dog. He has also been invited to share Sarge’s story with members of a local dog club.
“I am really humbled by it. We didn't adopt Sarge for any publicity, credit, or anything; we adopted him because we thought it was the right thing to do and it turned into something way bigger than we ever thought it would be,” said Louise, adding, “It’s amazing to see how many people are happy with it and my wife and I are really grateful to everyone who has supported us and to the department and Chief Parker for backing us and letting us share Sarge’s story.”
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