2008-08-21 / Letters to the Editor

Police need compassion

On Friday, Aug. 8, my beloved, beautiful dog, Mako, suffered a fatal heart attack while swimming at Head's Beach. A neighbor immediately came to my aid. Not knowing what else to do, she called 911. The woman who answered the call was asking questions about my dog, but then the call was abruptly cut off.

After trying CPR unsuccessfully for five to eight minutes, I put my dog in my truck and called 911 on my cell phone. A woman answered, "Jamestown Police Department." I asked for either Cathy Gregory, our wonderful animal control officer, or Sgt. Keith Woodbine. A male voice came on the phone and demanded, "Are you the person who just called from Head's Beach?" I replied, "Yes, I am. I need help." The male voice responded, "We don't do dog calls. Don't call here anymore with your dog problems. Call the animal clinic," and promptly hung up on me. All I needed in my distress was a little help and guidance. That officer should be ashamed of himself; he is truly not a man of feeling or honor.

I have lived here over a decade, and have worked here nearly two. I love this place, I don't have to tell any of the residents how special it is; you already know. When my tragedy happened with Mako, I couldn't face going home. I wandered around Conanicut Marina, which to me is like a second home. There was so much love and compassion from the community who knew Mako and me that it was hard at times to be sad, but then, I have always received abundant support from countless members of our wonderful town.

The following day, a 10- year old daughter of a friend had a stray cat following her around town. Not knowing if this cat had a home, the little girl called the police. She unfortunately met with the response, "We don't do cat calls." I learned of this incident the evening after losing Mako.

I've also heard of other instances of inconsiderate behavior: a friend walking his dog to the beach was asked by an officer, who was passing in his cruiser, if he liked dogs. Upon replying, "Yes," the officer responded, "I hate dogs."

Two volunteer firemen have been stopped and ticketed while responding to calls and an acquaintance was stopped just for having a bent boat trailer license plate, thereby holding up a line of traffic on busy Narragansett Avenue. Has our well-paid police force no compassion for the law abiding populace that feeds them, or do they just lack judgment? I ask the people of Jamestown, is this who you want to serve and protect you?

Take a good look at our brave Fire Department and E.M.S. They make themselves available at all hours to help, and there are many, many other volunteers. Why? Because they care about this community. I salute you, and may God bless all of you.

And, to the people of this island, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your condolences. My beautiful Mako died doing what she loved, being with me in the water, chasing a ball. I can't bring Mako back, but I hope some changes will be made so no one has to go through; the callous and condescending treatment that the child, others, and I have experienced.

Pio Moretti Jamestown

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