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Paul Rolly: Pet lovers rally behind generous Utah firefighter

By paul rolly

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jul 22 2014 09:16 pm • Last Updated Jul 29 2014 03:44 pm

I wrote two weeks ago about Brigham City firefighter Tyler Petersen, who responded to a car crash on Interstate 15 and, after helping the badly injured driver get the emergency care she needed and ensuring her safe transfer to the nearest hospital, went to the Canyon View Animal Health Care Center and paid out of his own pocket the medical expenses for the motorist’s three injured dogs.

I got the story from Karol Johnson, who volunteers for Brigham City Animal Shelter and had been asked to go to the crash site and take the dogs to the veterinary clinic. At the time, the driver was unresponsive and there was a question about how the medical bills would be paid. There was some consideration of putting one of the dogs down until Petersen appeared and said he would cover the costs.

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That column generated a wide response from animal lovers who wanted to help Petersen in his good Samaritan quest.

Mary Beth Anderson called me and wanted to know where she could send some money to offset Petersen’s tab. Joan Hanner sent me an email asking where she could chip in $100 toward the cause.

And Johnson informed me that many people had offered to help, posting on the Justice for Geist Facebook page set up in honor of Geist, the Weimaraner that was shot and killed in his owner’s fenced back yard by a Salt Lake City police officer last month.

So here’s how you can help.

Johnson has set up a GoFundMe account for those who want to contribute toward Petersen’s expenses, which Johnson estimates ran close to $1,000, based on the treatment required to mend the dogs.

To donate, go to http://www.gofundme.com/bjb9is.

If donations exceed what Petersen spent, Johnson said, the rest would be used to buy vaccines and dewormer medication for the Brigham City Animeral Shelter’s kittens.


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Angel with a car » Bonnie Cavill tells me that when her stepdaughter, Lynn, was visiting Bonnie and her husband, Vern, they called a cab to take Lynn to the airport for her flight home to Washington state.

Vern, who has since died, was in his 90s and Bonnie, who had recently undergone surgery, was in a wheelchair, so they couldn’t drive her.

They waited for what seemed like a long time, called dispatch and was told the cabdriver was having a hard time finding the address — inside the Old Farm community complex in central Salt Lake County.

It turns out there was a bit of a language barrier with the driver, and he kept getting lost.

The couple worried that Lynn would miss her flight, so Vern and Lynn walked to the corner of one of the main streets in Old Farm to see if they could spot the cabbie.

That’s when Mette Haigh, who lives in another section of Old Farm and did not know the Cavills, stopped her car and asked if they needed help.

When they recounted their situation, Haigh told them she had some free time and so she drove Lynn to the airport herself.

They never did see the cabbie.

Good corporate neighbors » Jerome DeWaal and his wife routinely walk their dog around a pond in West Bountiful and have noticed, as in other public spaces, some people are not conscientious about what they leave behind.

But when they recently noticed several people with bags picking up the trash left on the ground by previous visitors, they were impressed.

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