Monday, December 28, 2009

Good things come in small packages! Residents of Boynton Beach, Fla., beware! There's a new sheriff in town and she's a 4-lb. Chihuahua named Bella — the diminutive 3-year-old pooch is credited with helping to apprehend a burglary suspect.

It happened last Monday when Bella was out for a walk with her owner, John Bonafair, who happens to be a sergeant in the Boynton Beach Police Department. "I had just gotten back from dropping my police vehicle off to be serviced," Sergeant Bonafair tells "The first thing I do when I go home is to walk the dog."

Bonafair and his girlfriend adopted Bella, the runt of the litter, when a fellow police officer's dog had puppies three years ago this Christmas. "I wasn't even sure I would like a small dog," Bonafair admits. "I had larger animals in the past, but Bella's just a really fun dog and very smart."

Wearing plain clothes and with his police radio on his hip, Bonafair took Bella for a stroll in the neighborhood. "I was walking Bella and this guy came running out of the bushes towards our general direction," recalls Bonafair. "I thought, 'This doesn’t look right.' I turned on my radio and heard other officers saying they were in foot pursuit of a suspect."

Bonafair identified himself as a police officer and yelled at the guy to get down on the ground. Instead, the suspect took off running, with Bonafair giving chase in a full-on sprint. "I totally forgot for that moment that Bella was with me," Bonafair says. "As I ran around a couple corners, I saw Bella out of the corner of my eye trying to outpace me."

What about Bella's leash? Had Bonafair dropped it while running after the suspect? "Bella does not like to wear a Ieash," reveals Bonafair. "I've taught her to stay with me. I can take her in public and she'll stick right by my side."

The tiny dog, whose favorite past time is chasing lizards, kept up with Bonafair as he chased the suspect for several blocks. "I’m not sure if she thought this guy was a lizard, or whether she was worried about me because I'd been yelling at him and she was trying to protect me," says Bonafair. "Either way, she was right beside me keeping up. She was fearless. We chased the guy for a few blocks and I tackled him off in some bushes."

Bonafair grappled with the suspect and relayed his location by radio as Bella ran around the struggling pair, barking furiously. "I wasn't readily visible from the road and had a hard time describing where I was because I was on the grounds of an apartment complex and it all looked the same," says Bonafair. Bella's barking attracted the attention of police officers who were on foot, and they came running to help take the suspect into custody.

"I said, 'Come here, puppy. Good job!'" remembers Bonafair, who gave Bella a little, gold police badge to wear on her harness. "It's the kind that detectives wear on the lapels of their suits," says Bonafair. "I'd give her a regular size badge, but I think she’d have trouble walking." Bella is, after all, only four pounds!

National Canine Cancer Foundation


JackDaddy said...

Good job indeed!!

Bandit's Pack said...


Ms. ~K said...

Way to go Bella!!!

Benny and Lily said...

Yea..still good people out there
Benny & Lily

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Give that khanine a big pat AND a biskhuit!


Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artagnan Rumblepurr said...

Good things come in tiny packages!!

Tanuki Maxx said...

Bravo Bella!!
Definitely deserve a yummy treat!


Alex93andme said...

How sweet!!!! Good going Bella!!!

Sierra Rose said...

Good work Bella!
LOVE the music!! Thinking it's Enya? Will check it out.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Emma Rose said...

That was a great story. It made us all smile really big!

Emma Rose

Chester said...

Well darned if us big dawgs haven't been shown up by a chihuahua!
I bet she has big dawg blood runnin' thru her veins. I'd be proud to call her my friend. Great job protectin' your 2 legger, Bella!

Chester ;0=)

Sam said...

Good things come in all sizes. Good for Bella!

Teddy Bear said...

Love it!

Teddy Bear

Mango said...

Totally fearless little pup (or maybe that dude was kind of a lizard).


Samantha said...

Totally pawsome job, Bella - what an intrepid pup you are! (Sorry we've been so slow in getting around - Mom's been nuts this season plus she's trying to fuggur out how to make a banner - that will fit heheheeeee - best she can do - will post something soon, but want to scroll down here a little to see what we've missed!)
Hugs xo

Salinger The Pug said...

Go Bella!!!

What an awesome story!!!

Yeah...I tell mom that I'd be a great police dog too, well, except for the running part...and the paying attention part....and the staying awake for more than 20 minutes part! (hahaha)

Happy new year!!!


Tweedles -- that's me said...

One little doggy
One big heart!

KB said...

What a great story. Feisty law enforcement dogs come in small packages!