Don't Call Her A Dog Catcher: A FOX 28 Special Report - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Don't Call Her A Dog Catcher: A FOX 28 Special Report

Posted:
Over the past month and a half, there have been some horrific stories involving animals.  In March, 21 small animals, including neighborhood cats and other wild animals, were found dead in an alley in South Bend.

Last month, a house was discovered with more than 30 cats and dogs inside, some found dead. We're told more are still living inside.  St. Joe County Humane Officer Sarah Lutheringer is there to help when animals are in need.

She was there when a dog named Tubby was dragged down the street by his owner. She says “His pads were peeling off his feet. She [dragged] him about half a city block."

Her day starts at 8:30; never knowing what she's in for or what type of animal she'll run into.  Lutheringer says she's found “an alligator at the shelter. I was dealing with an emu before winter. We had a horse we found stray. We did find its owner. "

Before she hits the streets, she gears up, preparing for whatever may come her way. Listen to the gear she wears. Sarah says " I have my bullet-proof vest, we have our utility belt, we are not allowed to carry guns so we have a bite stick, pepper spray, and most of us carry a knife as well."

On the day I road along with her, our first stop involved serving a warrant. The case involved animal hoarding. Inside Sarah found one dog, 31 cats with three of them dead. Luthringer says it's the most disgusting house she's you've ever been in.

When we were done there, we loaded back up, and headed to a home quarantine. In a complete accident, the dog bit a family member over dropped food.  Sarah says "According to state law they have to be quarantined for 10 days."

The family was happy to have their dog, as Sarah puts it, ungrounded.  The dog owner says “he's a good baby he is. He likes to lay on the bed."

We're back in the van and on the road. Sarah says she drives about 300 miles a day all over the county.  A of of her day involves stopping and sticking notices in doors for people who have lost a pet.

Every now and then, the unusual happens. We got a call from Martin's so we made our way to the warehouse to pick up a donation of 13 cases of dog treats.

Once the treats were unloaded Sarah was back on the street to check on a dog she knows well. Sarah says there were reports of the dog living in a crate in the back yard. 

She knocked on the door, but the dog owner wasn't home.  Sarah says “We'll drive by. See if we can find him. He has to go potty sometime."

Luthringer's passion to help animals stems from the first puppy she rescued. It drives her as she knows her line of work takes a special type of person.

She says "You have to be tough. Someone who cries over seeing a squirrel get hit or something, this is not the job for you. That is not the worst you are going to see. Nothing compared to what you'll see out here.”

No matter what she's seen or been through, when Sarah clocks out, she leaves with a clean slate for her next shift.

Sarah says “I leave it at work when I leave work. There are a few things that you think about. When I go home, all I want to do is spend time with my dogs."


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two shot, one killed in downtown Chicago office building

    Two shot, one killed in downtown Chicago office building

    200 block of LaSalle in Chicago (FOX32 photo)200 block of LaSalle in Chicago (FOX32 photo)
    CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A recently demoted executive entered a Loop office building in Chicago on Thursday morning and shot the company’s CEO before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide, authorities said. The shooting happened just before 10 a.m. at the ArrowStream company on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building, 231 S. LaSalle St. “Apparently he was despondent over the fact that he got demoted,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.More >>
    CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A recently demoted executive entered a Loop office building in Chicago on Thursday morning and shot the company’s CEO before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide, authorities said. The shooting happened just before 10 a.m. at the ArrowStream company on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building, 231 S. LaSalle St. “Apparently he was despondent over the fact that he got demoted,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.More >>
  • 2 arrested after judge spots own stolen bike

    2 arrested after judge spots own stolen bike

    Two juveniles have been arrested after an Ingham County judge spotted one of them pedaling around on his stolen bicycle.More >>
    Two juveniles have been arrested after an Ingham County judge spotted one of them pedaling around on his stolen bicycle.More >>
  • Strong Thunderstorms moving through Michiana

    Strong Thunderstorms moving through Michiana

    Strong Thunderstorms are on the move toward central La Porte County Friday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, a strong thunderstorm is located near Westville moving East at 10 miles per hour. One-half inch diameter hail, 40 mph or higher wind gusts, lighting and heavy downpours are expected. La Porte, Kingsford Heights, Pinhook, Pinola, Union Mills, Kingsbury and Tracy are in the path of the storm. This includes interstate 80 and 90 between mile markers 38 and 47.More >>
    Strong Thunderstorms are on the move toward central La Porte County Friday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, a strong thunderstorm is located near Westville moving East at 10 miles per hour. One-half inch diameter hail, 40 mph or higher wind gusts, lighting and heavy downpours are expected. La Porte, Kingsford Heights, Pinhook, Pinola, Union Mills, Kingsbury and Tracy are in the path of the storm. This includes interstate 80 and 90 between mile markers 38 and 47.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.