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Caring Patrolman rescues and provides loving home to severely abused dog

P8010053_thumb By Tamara | February 04, 2013 | Comments (22)

a severely abused pit bull is being taken care of by a loving police officer

Warning: this article contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some readers. 

He had never seen a dog so emaciated and still alive in his life. That's what Patrolman Rick Broz, (or Doc, as Officer Broz's friends call him), thought when he found a Pit Bull mix curled on the ground outside an abandoned home and barely able to move.

Police in Lorain, Ohio had received an anonymous call in December about the abandoned dog and Officer Broz responded to the call. He could hardly believe what he was seeing. The starving dog was blind in one eye, with a fractured skull and his head swollen with infection. In his official police report Officer Broz described the dog he rescued:

"I observed a light brown dog, possibly a pit bull, lying in the grass. Every rib, vertebrae, and leg bone could be plainly observed beneath it's skin. I have never seen such an emaciated dog, still alive, in my career. A dog of this type should weigh around 75 or more pounds and this dog appeared to be around 25 to 30 pounds. The top of the dogs head was grotesquely swollen, apparently from an infected puncture wound, to nearly twice it's expected size. The swelling actually was forcing the dog's eye lids closed. Yellow-green purulent discharge was seen coming from both eyes."

a severely abused pit bull is being taken care of by a loving police officer
Herbie when Officer Broz found him.

Officer Broz took the dog to Lorain Animal Clinic. They named him Herbie and began emergency treatment. Given his poor condition, they knew the dog's recovery would be 'touch and go'. But within a few days, Herbie's condition improved. The swelling in his head reduced quite a bit and is appetite slowly began to increase. Within a week and a half, he had gained back a bit of weight and was really enjoying his trips outside, wagging his tail like crazy every time he went out. 

Just after Christmas, the staff learned that Herbie has adenocarcinoma, a non-operable and non-responsive cancer. It was sad news given the progress he had made battling his weight loss and injuries. Dr. Woods and the staff at the clinic have said that his cancer has not progressed enough to interfere with his quality of life.

"He looks forward to his walks outside. At this point in time Herbie is happy, eating well, and most importantly pain free,” the clinic posted on its website. But, because of his cancer, Herbie will not be adopted. 

a severely neglected pit bull is being cared for by a loving police officer
Herbie being cared for at the Lorain Animal Clinic

Throughout Herbie's time at the clinic, Officer Broz has stayed involved in Herbie's progress and clinic staff say that Herbie has truly bonded with his rescuer. "He sure has Officer Broz wrapped around his paw!"

Herbie now stays with Dr. Woods and his staff during the week and on weekends Herbie looks forward to his special trips home with Officer Broz. Every Friday, Herbie goes home with Officer Broz where the two spoil each other with love and attention. 

Herbie has a Facebook group page where Officer Broz posts regular updates on Herbie. On one recent weekend excursion Officer Broz wrote:

"The boys are back! Herbie is back at my house, resting comfortably in his bed. He seemed to know what was happening as he seemed excited when he realized I was there at the clinic. I was told that he has been much more active during the last three days, so I guess my spoiling him worked! He was quite restless during the ride home in the Jeep, kept getting up and 'looking' around like 'are we there yet?' In the house, he felt completely at ease, went to where his freshly laundered bed was and climbed in to lie down. Still a little early for him, but after he rests a little and eats, I'll bring him downstairs to the "Man Cave" and we'll kick back, have a few brews, watch some NASCAR....you know, 'guy things.'" 

This past weekend, the pair took in the Super Bowl together and caught 'The Puppy Bowl' as well. While watching the pups on TV, Herbie got a "little vocal" whenever the referee "blew a call", according to Officer Broz.

a severely abused pit bull is being taken care of by a loving police officer

Officer Broz says he will continue to provide a kind and loving home for Herbie and take each day as it comes.

"We don’t know how long he will live. Days to months? As long as he is happy, pain-free, eating and not dropping weight, and shows no signs of the cancer affecting his mind, we will keep him going." 

a severely abused pit bull is being taken care of by a loving police officer
Officer Broz ("Doc") with Herbie


There is an $11,000 reward for information leading to the person(s) responsible for Herbie's abuse and neglect. Herbie was found in front of an abandoned home on the 800 block of West 11th street in Lorain, Ohio on December 1, 2012. Anyone with information should call the Lorain Police Department at 440-204-2555.

Animal lovers in Ohio state are also rallying for stricter laws for animal cruelty. To learn more about the recently declined animal cruelty bill - Nitro's Law - and the necessity for stricter laws in the state to protect dogs like Herbie visit the Nitro Foundation website

Help share Herbie's story to bring greater awareness to the need for stronger laws governing animal cruelty and negelct. If you would like to help support Justice for Herbie please sign the petition.

Update March 1, 2013:

Herbie passed away peacefully in Doc Broz's arms around 2pm on Friday. "I know that if he could talk, he would tell all of you how much he loved each and every one of you and you were the reason he was able to fight for so long,” Broz wrote on his Facebook page.

Rest in Peace, Herbie.



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Comments on this Article

i got teary-eyed while reading Herbie's story..at least his lucky enough to be loved and cared for by Officer Broz on the last days of his life..if not for that cancer i think he'll live another 5 years or so...anyways, to you Herbie fly like a wind..you're free now..free from pain and bad memories..and to you Officer Broz..two thumbs up for your generosity
Oh Herbie, you got the best gift ever - to pass on to a better place while being comforted by your best pal. Run like the wind - nothing is going to hurt you there. Officer Broz - you are an inspiration.
Go with wings sweet Herbie - and than you Doc for being such a beautiful caring human :)
...it's for people like Officer Broz, that i hope and pray with all my heart, that, not only for there actually being a true Heaven, but that it also has a VIP section for people like him... if i have a heart, half the size of your heart Officer Broz, i'd consider it a giant...
Thank you Officer Broz for loving this dog when no one else did and Doc Woods and staff for your compassionate treatment of this poor soul. How inexcusable that so many animals are so poorly treated, so horribly mistreated. Thank God he knew love and caring his final months on earth ... may Herbie find peace at the Rainbow Bridge.
You have my sincere heartfelt condolences for the loss of Herbie. Herbie's last days on earth would have been very different if it had not been for you officer Broz. I thank you and I'm sure Herbie thanks you.
I'm so sorry that Herbie died. So good though that his last couple of months here on earth were spent with loving people who cared for and comforted him. That's the way it should always be. Thank you for your kindness--if only it were contagious! xo
didn't the house had neighbours that could have alarmed sooner?but a big thumbs up for officer broz.and lets hope the reason why the owner abandoned herbie is cuz he died
We need a lot more caring people in this world like this officer. I don't understand why some people want to abuse and hurt such loyal innocent loving animals. I hope Herbie has a long painfree wonderful life .
Heartbreaking but a happy ending. Animal cruelty laws need to be so much tougher with long jail terms. End this!!! Animals deserve our protection as much as humans. They are defenseless, innocent and feel pain.
Doc, you are a wonderful person. Know that you are one of the good people in the world. Herbie certainly does. He is lucky you found him.
Hearing that there was an animal cruelty bill that was DECLINED really irks me to no end. Animals deserve the right to be treated with love and respect, not to be beaten upside the head and starved to near death to be left on an abandoned property in the freezing cold. ~On a positive note, i'm very happy that Herbie is being treated with kindness now in whatever amount of time he still has on this earth. Thank you, Officer Broz for taking the initiative and rescuing this sweet boy. Also, thank you for respecting him like he's an actual human being and not just some abandoned dog. He looks like he loves that toy duck he's got. You should be awarded.
I still cannot believe they are fighting Nitro's Law after everything that's happened the last few years. We heard about Nitro's Law when poor Nitro's case was still in the news and I can't imagine what's wrong with the politicians in charge there. How could anyone look at cases like this and believe nothing needs to change? Poor Herbie I hope he gets to have a long time being pain free so he can continue hanging out with his new buddy do "guy things" :)
Officer Broz,you are truly a saint! Herbie and you were supposed to meet,i believe that. Good things will come of this love! God bless you both,my prayers and my hope to you both,everyday.
God,help dear Herbie,please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Exceeding the definition of sadness. I hope each moment you have left on earth Herbie is filled with more joy than is given in 10 lifetimes. The individual responsible for this is a insult to all that is good in this world. If for some reason you are able to walk away from what you did to Herbie, I hope a merciless avenging angel finds you in a moment of weakness, and gives you back the pain you inflicted on Herbie. Rick thank you for letting Herbie spend the rest of his days in peace.
I hope the monster that did that to Herbie is caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Officer Broz you are an angel.
Oh sweet Herbie, just so thankful you are in such loving hands now. I will never understand how people can be so cruel and hopefully these types of cases will bring about changes that are so needed. God bless you, Officer Broz and all your other rescuers and care takers.
Officer Broz; Sir you have my undying respect. A lot can be learned about the measure of a man/woman by the way they treat animals.
Now THIS is my definition of a hero- not Ray Lewis. He deserves a world of credit for his kindness.
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