The call came in to Fullerton Police on Sept. 25.
Adult male abusing his dog.
Ugly, horrible stuff.
Cops determined the man had a mental disability, so they didn’t arrest him.
They also determined that if the 2-year-old beagle/boxer mix remained with the man and his family, she probably wouldn’t survive much longer.
So the officers brought “Carly” back to the station and showed her around.
As soon as Sgt. Kathryn Hamel took one look at the cinnamon-colored canine, she knew she was doomed.
Love at first sight.
For years, Hamel had been telling her husband, Mike, that she wanted a dog.
No way, he told her.
Mike Hamel, deputy chief for the Irvine PD, says that as a child growing up in San Pedro, he often got bitten by dogs.
A Doberman, a German shepherd — those bites left a bad taste in his mouth.
Plus, Mike is allergic to dogs. At least to ones with long hair.
But a couple of years ago, for Christmas, Mike caved and bought Kathryn a dog.
“Woody,” made entirely of wood, sits in the entryway of the Hamels’ home in North Orange County.
Then Kathryn met Carly.
She snapped a photo of the friendly dog and texted the picture to Mike, along with this message:
Look what I’m bringing home.
Mike, at work, texted back:
His wife responded:
Are you serious? She’s 2.
Mike texted back:
“I thought he was joking,” Kathryn said.
Something in Carly’s sweet expression melted Mike’s heart.
Plus, as a bonus, Carly had short hair.
Maybe I’m not so allergic to dogs after all, Mike thought.
He knew his wife of five years would be thrilled. And he knew his two daughters from a previous marriage, ages 12 and 7, would be, too.
On Tuesday, the Hamels went to OC Animal Care in Orange to take Carly home. She had been sent there while remaining on an investigative hold because of the abuse incident.
When police cleared the case and Carly was taken off the investigative hold, Carly was free to go.
Despite having been abused, Carly was in good condition — and good spirits.
The Hamels adopted her shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Kathryn rushed up to Carly and gave her a hug, then put her on a red leash.
“Alright,” Kathryn said with a smile to Mike and Carly. “Let’s go home.”