BRENTWOOD — Two of Brentwood's finest have been named to a list of the country's finest after an animal rescue in 2018.
Officers Jared Arsenault and Kenneth Gauthier were named to the "50 States, 50 Police Heroes" listing on the website PoliceOne. They represented New Hampshire in the listing, which honors "how cops across the U.S. made an impact in 2018. From small acts of kindness to incredible moments of life-saving heroism, these 50 stories are just a small sample of the great work America’s finest put in every day."
The officers responded to a call from a Bartlett Road residence on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7:15 p.m. The dog, "Bruno," had impaled himself on a metal fence. With the assistance of the dog's owner, the officers were able to free the dog and transported him to the Veterinary and Emergency Surgery Hospital in Brentwood. Dr. Lori Gordon performed emergency surgery.
Arsenault remembers that night well. The dog wasn't impaled on a fence, he clarified, but on a sort of lawn ornament with extensions to hang items on. "There was snow on the ground, and Bruno decided to jump off the porch at an angle," he said in a phone interview. "The spike went through his head into his eyes and 6 inches into his head."
But man's best friend had a friend in the Brentwood Police Department, and they rushed Bruno to the animal hospital.
"When we brought him into Dr. Gordon, she warned us that he had a wicked slim chance," Arsenault recalled. "She said he might lose his vision."
But when the officers went back the next day to check on Bruno, he was "100 percent recovered," Arsenault said.
Arsenault still marvels at Gordon's skill and patience, noting, "She couldn't pull the spike out the way it came in. It was at a 90-degree angle. She had to cut an incision between his eyes, and pull out the spike that way." It was "pretty amazing," Arsenault added.
Arsenault is quick to credit Dr. Gordon with the real rescue, noting, "We just got him there."
But "getting him there" was enough for his superior officer and for PoliceOne.
Though she was in her first month on the job, Police Chief Ellen Arcieri made sure the rescue got on the department's Facebook page. Then-Animal Control Officer William Faria, now a selectman, was also commended.
Arcieri, about to complete her first year with the department, said that this is the first time any of her current officers have achieved national recognition during her tenure.
She didn't submit their names for the honor, and said she was as surprised as anyone to learn about it. "That website found us," she said.
Selectman Chair Robert Mantegari wrote in an e-mail, "They handled this situation with care and compassion; we are fortunate to have such dedicated professionals, our officers went above and beyond and the board is proud of their actions, and proud to say that they are employees of the town of Brentwood."
The efforts honored by PoliceOne ranged from finding a small boy's stuffed cheetah to providing an elderly man a ride to the hospital to see his wife, and to both human and animal rescues.