Police rescue dog from ledge of Wichita highway overpass

07/05/2014 3:42 PM

07/05/2014 11:15 PM

A Wichita police officer was issuing a citation near the overpass at Kellogg and Tyler Road on Friday when something caught his eye.

A 6-month-old German shepherd named Harley was looking down at traffic passing by on Tyler from the ledge of the overpass around 7 p.m. Friday, Wichita police Sgt. Jim Merrick said Saturday.

The roughly 46-pound pup was at a dead end about 32 feet up, Merrick said. He said the dog had made its way up there after being spooked by fireworks being shot off near its home near Kellogg and Maize Road.

“Nobody knows how that happened,” Merrick said. “This dog had nowhere to go. People go 70, 80 on Kellogg all the time, and it was about a 32-foot drop down. The dog was stuck.”

After an officer offered his hand for Harley to sniff and make sure the dog was friendly, four officers from Wichita’s Patrol West were able to get the dog off the ledge.

“And that’s where it got exciting,” Merrick said.

The spooked dog then darted down Kellogg, Merrick said, until a phalanx of police cars were able to corral it into custody.

The first officer volunteered to take the dog in for the night, and the department posted a photo of the rescue at 8:25 p.m. Friday.

Overnight, the photo went viral.

Merrick said that since its posting, it has become the most popular post the department has ever had. By 10:30 p.m. Saturday, it had more than 8,600 likes, 2,100 shares and 522 comments.

And that’s how the dog’s owners were able to track it down, Merrick said.

Harley’s owners told police their neighbors were having a big Fourth of July party, and after fireworks were shot off, Harley jumped the fence.

“This was a very sweet dog,” Merrick said. “People who are shooting fireworks need to be aware that it affects not just them.”

By Saturday, Harley was back at home, safe and sound.

“In short, man’s best friend needed some friends, and he found them in the Wichita Police Department,” Merrick said.

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