Dogged Determination: Police Officer Returns Stolen Dog Remains


A thief who broke into a home in southeast Fresno wound up stealing the ashes of a family dog.{} The shiny box with the remains was dumped in a parking lot in northeast Fresno.{}{}But{}a Fresno Police Officer went above and beyond the call of duty to return them to its owner.

Inside{}a shiny redwood box are the remains of Chester, Erica Derr's dog. {} The urn wrapped in this velvet bag was stolen recently during a burglary at this home in southeast Fresno. {} Erica Derr thought Chester was a goner for good. "Yeah, yeah that was very nice.{} I was so happy.{} I was shocked I didn't think{}I would ever get that back."{}{}

Chester's remains along with his collar and condolence letter from the crematorium were found in a parking lot near Fresno and Herndon. {} Police officer Patty Sellars-Anderson took it from there.{} "I called the crematorium in Los Angeles and since the dog died in 2011 it took two days for them to get back to me with the results and they finally called me and gave me the pet hospital where Chester used to go. {} I called the pet hospital and got the name of the owner."

Derr said, "She handed him to me.{}{}I said oh my God.{}{}That was it.{}{}I said thank you."

Chester was a pit bull lab that Erica Derr found on the street. {} Kidney failure forced her to put it down. {} A determined Fresno police officer brought her back a treasured keepsake.{} "There was just about it that made me want to find the owner of this dog because{}I knew it had been stolen in a burglary. {} Things like this just aren't left around. {} You know we see a lot of bad. {} We don't get to do good very often."

Erica Derr now plans to put Chester away for safe keeping.{}