Dog finds way home after let loose by Hollywood police

Lilly escaped from home Wednesday after police responded to suicide call

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A 5-year-old pit bull mix who escaped from her Hollywood home after a police officer entered the wrong house while responding to a suicide call last week found her way back Tuesday morning.

Lilly’s owner, Sergio Petruno, told Local 10 News that his beloved dog came back home limping at about 5 a.m.

According to Petruno, he arrived home Wednesday night after work to find his back gate open and Lilly missing.

He said he had no clue what had happened until he found a note scrawled out on his dining room table from a Hollywood police officer. Apparently, police got a 911 call from a cellphone from someone saying they were going to kill themselves. Police said the phone triangulated to Petruno's address, so the officers did a welfare check.

But when they opened the door, the pit bull mix ran away. Police later told Petruno they had the wrong address and a neighbor was in crisis.

Hollywood police spokeswoman Officer Meredith Elrich told Local 10 News that the suicidal person was found near the home on Taft Street and was hospitalized under the Baker Act.

Petruno said he's in disbelief that Hollywood police made no attempt to contact him at work. He said Lilly had been missing for eight hours by the time he found out.

"Though it was unfortunate the dog escaped during a welfare check, Hollywood Police Department police officers entered the residence in good faith attempting to locate a suicidal individual with the hope of saving their life," Hollywood police spokeswoman Officer Meredith Elrich said in a statement Friday. "Our police officers spent time afterwards attempting to locate the missing dog. Additionally, our officers left a note, case card, and their apologies for the unfortunate incident."

Petruno said he plans to take Lilly to the veterinarian Tuesday before he heads to work to make sure that she is in good health after spending nearly a week on the streets.

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