Yakima police officer saves injured puppy, adopts it

The puppy lost a leg after getting stuck underneath a truck tire

YAKIMA, Wash. — An injured puppy has now found its forever home with the Yakima police officer who helped saved its life.

Earlier this month, Ofc. Jeff Benefiel was riding in a patrol car with his training officer in the late evening when he saw a truck parked near North First and East Arlington streets. He thought it had broken down and they stopped to help.

“I went behind it, turned on the lights to get people to move over for them,” Benefiel said. “When I got out I noticed this dog right here was stuck underneath the tire.”

The dog’s back left leg was trapped underneath the weight of the vehicle; they had to remove the whole tire to get him out.

“I felt bad for the puppy because he was just laying there; he wasn’t barking or crying or anything like that,” Benefiel said. “We knew he needed to get some kind of medical help.”

Puppy rushed to Yakima Humane Society for surgery

They called the Yakima Humane Society and at about 10 p.m., rushed the puppy there for emergency surgery.

“The whole team came out, helped this pup along and they had to amputate his leg from the injury,” Benefiel said.

Benefiel said the veterinarians estimated the pup was about 14 to 15 weeks old.

“The vets tried to find an owner for him; they couldn’t find any kind of owner, no chip, nothing like that,” Benefiel said.

Late one evening, Officer Benefiel got a call for a traffic accident in Yakima. The injured was a stray pup, that had…

Posted by Yakima Humane Society on Wednesday, February 10, 2021

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Benefiel couldn’t stop thinking about the puppy and what would happen to him.

“When I put him in the back of the patrol car to transport him over there, he just looked at me,” Benefiel said. “The sadness in his face — I just saw an instant connection with him, so I had to take him in.”

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Benefiel was working a swing shift that night and got home about 3 a.m. He decided to talk to his wife, Shayna, about it.

“He was telling me about this puppy that got hit and he just felt like he needed to bring it home,” Shayna said. “I said we could go meet him and see how he is and then, instantly, I fell in love.”

Family grows by one, adopts puppy

Three days after the puppy lost a leg, it found a forever home with the Benefiel family.

“[The kids] love him,” Shayna said. “They’re all inseparable now.”

Shayna worried about having a young puppy in the house with their near-7-year-old dog Tucker, but they bonded quickly.

“[Tucker’s] been just taking care of him, covering him up if he gets cold,” said Remington, Benefiel’s 10-year-old son.

Kids name the puppy “Axel”

Benefiel said the kids were the ones who picked out the name for their puppy: Axel.

“His back left paw was stuck in the axle, so they had to take off the tire and that’s how he got his name,”  Remington said.

Benefiel said the veterenarians believe Axel will be just fine and judging by the size of his paws, will grow up to be a pretty big dog.

“He’ll learn to walk with the three legs and just have a normal life for a puppy,” Benefiel said.

Remington said Axel loves playing with him and his siblings in the snow; he’s just glad they got to keep him and bring him home.

“He’s been staying strong. He’s been having fun with Tucker,” Remington said. “And we just love him.”