Clear the Shelters: GRPD Chief Payne and his rescue Reggie

Clear the Shelters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne should have been on the scent long before he was.

Waiting for him at home just over three months ago was a little puppy named Oregano. Payne was leaving work and his wife and kids had arranged a house visit with Oregano from a local rescue. As the chief tells the story, he didn’t really have a say after that.

“They were in the backyard playing,” Payne remembered. “And as soon as I walked into the backyard, Reggie ran up and started playing with me and I was like, ‘OK, you guys set this up?’ So yes, he did pick me. Shortly thereafter, he crawled up in my wife’s lap and fell asleep. So we were done after that. The next day, we had him.”

Reggie sleeping in GRPD Chief Eric Payne’s wife’s lap the day before they adopted him. (Courtesy: GRPD Chief Eric Payne)

They’ve shortened his name to Reggie and now, Reggie runs the show. He’s the top dog, in charge, the chief of the Payne household, as Payne put it.

Even though he may have a little blue in his blood, Reggie is no police dog. He is a family dog and more of a mascot for the police department.

“I wouldn’t want him to have any of the skills that … our officers teach the K-9s that we have in the program,” Chief Payne said. “He’s a pet, he’s a family pet and he enjoys being that.”

Just ask Zachary, the chief’s son. He’s been the one teaching Reggie most of his tricks since he returned from puppy obedience school.

“I’ve enjoyed playing with him,” Zachary said. “Like we a play tug of war and I like just having him around in the house.”

Zachary is not the only one with whom Reggie plays tug of war. There’s video proof of the rescue taking on the other Payne dog in a pet-toy tug of war. Mabel is an 8-year-old Rottweillier twice Reggie’s size but the chief says the younger pup makes sure Mabel knows who’s in charge.

Reggie lays with his sibling, Mabel. (Courtesy: GRPD Chief Eric Payne)

“There’s a lot of kids in our neighborhood and he plays with them. So he’s getting more and more acclimated to the area,” Payne said. “He seems to enjoy us as much as we enjoy him.”

When it came to rescuing another dog, the choice for the Paynes was an easy one because of the great need to help clear the shelters.

“There’s a lot of pets out there that need rescuing, unfortunately. The shelters sometimes get overwhelmed,” Payne said. “I think it’s important if you’re looking for a pet to have, there’s plenty of great opportunities to be able to rescue and give a pet a good home.”

If you’re looking for a lovable companion like Reggie, help WOOD TV8 and NBC Clear the Shelters now through Sept. 19. Find the information here about participating shelters near you where you can adopt or donate, with 100% of your donations going to the shelter you choose.

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