LMPD officer adopting puppy he helped to rescue from burglary suspect

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville Metro Police officer who rescued a freezing, urine-covered puppy from a suspect's car has decided to adopt it.

Officer Jeffrey Emerich adopted the 7-week-old Australian Shepherd puppy Thursday.

"Her crystal blue eyes are shining," said Emerich, holding the puppy. "She's happy, so I'm happy."

According to an arrest report, Emerich discovered the puppy on March 7 after he arrested 24-year-old Dezmond Jones at a traffic stop near the intersection of South Jackson and East Jacob Streets.

Jones was accused of harassing a woman and breaking into her home. Upon searching Jones' vehicle, Emerich found what he initially thought was a dead puppy, "stuffed" under the passenger side seat.

"The seat was so low the puppy had nearly no room to breathe," the arrest report states.

Emerich soon discovered that the puppy was alive.

"When the puppy was recovered under the seat, it was completely covered [by] urine and was freezing cold," the arrest report states. "The puppy immediately began to shake uncontrollably and whine because of the cold."

Police say the puppy was young and thin and probably should not have been taken away from its litter yet.

"I was holding her the whole way in my car, just trying to warm her up a little bit," Emerich said. "So hopefully we created a little bond that early."

Jones was arrested and charged with second-degree cruelty to animals as well as second-degree burglary and harassment. According to online court records, he pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty on Tuesday, and was ordered not to have or live with any animals for a two-year period.

"Dogs just don't deserve that," Emerich said. "They deserve a really wonderful life, and I'm hoping I can give that to (the puppy)."

In a news release, LMPD Spokesman Lamont Washington said Emerich plans to adopt the puppy he found.

"This is a great example of multiple city agencies working together to hold an abuser responsible for animal cruelty: LMPD, LMAS and the Jefferson County Prosecutor's office," the news release states.

As for the puppy's name, Emerich thinks he'll name her Audrey. 

"It's my grandma's name, and she's very special to me," he said. "So hopefully (the puppy) will be just as special." 

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