A 6-month-old puppy is up for adoption a month after he was part of a high-speed chase in Southern California that nearly turned fatal for a highway patrolman.
"Chip" was inside a sport utility vehicle driven by a man suspected of shooting a California Highway Patrol officer before a high-speed pursuit in September. Whoever adopts the husky will help out a fund for fallen CHP officers and their families, thanks to a local animal services agency.
Riverside County Animal Services has been caring for Chip, their nickname for the dog, after the traumatic night on Sept. 11, when officers pulled over a man who had been spotted driving erratically in West Covina.
During the stop, the man exited the SUV and fired at the CHP officers, wounding Officer Felix Serpas, 40, a six-year veteran at the CHP, authorities said.
Officers returned fire, and the suspect was also wounded, according to CHP.
The high-speed pursuit ended near Arrow Boulevard and Citrus Avenue in Fontana, when police and a K-9 unit subdued the driver.
Serpas survived the shooting and was treated for his injuries.
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The driver, John Alfred Garcia, 30, faced multiple charges, including attempted murder on a peace officer. If convicted, Garcia faces 40 years to life in prison.
The Riverside County Animal Services is offering an opportunity for prospective adopters to adopt Chip for $1 and make a $104 donation to the 11-99 Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of CHP officers and their families.
"We believed that this puppy offered us a unique opportunity to do something for a fallen officer," Animal Services Director Robert Miller said. "This incident was a horrible act against a peace officer. We hope this small gesture on our part – and the prospective adopters' part – helps raise awareness about the dangers all officers face."
Those interested in providing a home for Chip can visit the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley and can deliver or email a short essay on their interest for adoption through the weekend to email@example.com. A decision on Chip's adoption will be made on Monday, Oct. 5.