Troy police rescue dog hit by car; use Twitter to find owner

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The power of social media brought an injured dog home with help from Troy police.    

Little Sampson had a pretty rough Monday but he's okay now and back home with his owner. It all started when he got hit by a car on Rochester Road in Troy.

"It sounds like the dog just ran out in front of the car," said Sgt. Meghan Lehman, Troy police. "(It was) not the driver's fault at all."

His leg broken and with no tags - his identity was a mystery.

"Our protocol is actually to call Oakland County Animal Control," said Lehman. "This officer thought it was urgent, he took it upon himself, took the dog down to the emergency vet. Officers do that and even pay out of pocket on their own."

Police figured the terrier mix somehow got loose and ran away from home. Turning to Twitter, Troy police posted Sampson's photo, hoping for a happy reunion.

Remember this is the police department that said if it got a certain number of Twitter followers it would get a police cat. Pawofficer Donut is now an honorary member of the police department and a social media darling in metro Detroit.

Just hours after the tweet, Sampson and his owner were reunited.

"Something like this for instance, we are able to get a much bigger reach because we already have more people following us," Lehman said. "I think we are around 15,000 people following us on Twitter now so that helps us when we have something like this or even a major public safety issue, we can reach a lot more people.

"This is not a high crime area so we are not putting stuff out every day that may be a major public safety concern but we are putting stuff out there to engage with more people and keep them coming back to our social media. So when we do have something, we can reach more people."