-- A loyal stray dog refused to leave his injured canine best friend's side in the middle of last month's winter storm, according to the David Ramirez, a development manager for the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The black dog was shot in the neck by animal control officers who were trying to capture the two, Ramirez said. He explained that the canine felt threatened during the capture and lunged at an officer, who then fired out of self defense and to protect others in the park.
The two then ran off together after getting spooked, Ramirez said. A few days later, as snow and winds pummeled the area, the digs were found in the same trap that animal control officers had previously set up.
"I absolutely believe the two truly needed each other to survive at the time," Ramirez said. "With one having been hurt and bleeding and then with the blizzard coming down, there was definitely a time crunch to capture them and get them to medical care."
Once caught, the black dog was immediately taken to a veterinarian for surgery, Ramirez said. The bullet had exited his neck and there was no damage to vital organs.
Shelter workers named the black dog "Braveheart" for his fearlessness and the brown dog "Faithful" for his loyalty to Braveheart, his canine "best friend," Ramirez said. He added that shelter workers believe the two may be "litter mates."
"While Braveheart was away, we had a miserable Faithful on our hands," Ramirez said. "He was crying relentlessly for Braveheart, and it was immediately obvious how bonded together they were."
The "brothers" were reunited again last week and "everyone could sense their relief when they finally saw each other again," Ramirez said.
"They're very well trained," Ramirez added. "They knew a lot of commands like sit, stay, down and roll over, so we're thinking they may have come from the same home. Neither were microchipped."
The two are now available for adoption, Ramirez said. The shelter is hoping the dogs can be adopted together.
"It's really hard to imagine them without each other at this point, especially after all they have been through," he said.