Follow up to ‘German Shepherd Hero’
Heroic dog recovers from bullet
FLORENCE â€” He’s back on the job after taking a bullet â€” an act that could give Lassie and Rin Tin Tin a run for their money.
Moti, a 5-year-old German shepherd, foiled a robbery attempt at the Patel family’s liquor store on April 6 and took a bullet in the shoulder in the process.
“He saved our lives,” said Harshad Patel, the owner of the Town Liquor Store on Route 130 in Roebling, about his crime-fighting canine and family pet.
Mr. Patel said he was in the back office of the store with his older daughter, Hiral, 15, when the gunman stormed into the store at 9:15 p.m. There were no customers inside at the time and Mr. Patel’s wife, Mital, and 10-year-old daughter, Kimi, were in the front of the store behind the counter.
When Mrs. Patel saw the gunman, she immediately shut the cash register and then hit the small panic button located inside of the counter (which immediately alerts police to come to the store), he said.
“When he came up to the counter he just repeated, ‘Give me money! Give me money!'” Mr. Patel said.
Moti, who had been lying on the floor behind the counter, leapt up on his back legs and started barking at the intruder.
“He waved the gun away from my wife and shot the dog, probably standing about 2 feet away from him,” Mr. Patel said. The gunman then fled the liquor store, he said.
Police described the gunman as a man with a slim build wearing a dark or black hooded sweatshirt and a “pantyhose” type of facemask.
As of Tuesday, police said that the gunman had not been caught. The Patel family has owned the liquor store on Route 130 South, for eight years, but this is not the first time their store has been targeted by thieves.
Five years earlier, when another robbery attempt occurred at Mr. Patel’s liquor store, township police had advised Mr. Patel to get a dog as a security measure.
So the family did and bought the dog from the Puppy Barn on Route 130.
The family trained him to respond to commands in the family’s native language, Gujarati.
Since Moti was a puppy, he has been trained to respond to certain commands, Mr. Patel said, but the dog must have sensed that something was wrong when stood up and barked at the intruder.
After the dog was shot (by what Mr. Patel describes as a small handgun or pistol), the man ran out of the store empty-handed, and Moti fell to the floor.
“He was limping really badly, and shortly after the police arrived, my wife took him to an animal hospital in Millstone,” Mr. Patel said. It was there that the dog had to undergo emergency surgery.
The bullet is still in Moti’s left shoulder, and Mr. Patel said on Tuesday, and that it’s still too soon to see if surgery will be necessary.
“The surgery could mean even more pain for him,” he said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Ms. Patel reported that Moti is doing very well indeed, and that he is back to his old ways of meandering leisurely through the store.
Police said Tuesday that the attempted robbery is under investigation, and that it may be connected with another robbery that occurred a few weeks ago at Johnson’s General Store in Roebling.
“We’re are still actively investigating and we’re putting all our resources into finding the individual that committed this act,” said Florence Township Police Capt. Joseph Gadbois.
Doncha just love a happy ending?? 😀 Well, happy for Moti and the store owners. Hopefully it won’t be so happy for the gunman who at the moment we can surmise, is looking over his shoulder.
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