TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A little terrier captured the attention of a whole neighborhood and many in the Tyler community in January. After a nearly two-month rescue, “Sir Brooks” was found in a grocery store parking lot and is now safe.
This wouldn’t have been possible without endless hours of rescue efforts from Tyler residents, employees at nearby businesses, and a community on social media.
The little terrier drew James Vasil to him in a Brookshire’s parking lot on January 20 of this year. He posted about him on the apps NextDoor and Facebook to try to find the owner.
“We started seeing him consistently at the same place down by the vacant storefronts in the shopping center,” Vasil said. “So first set up a crate there that we could pull the door shut when we saw him get in it, but initially we just left the crate there with a blanket in it, food and water, and he got to the point where he would actually go into the crate.”
At one point they spotted him in the Oncor parking lot and were given permission to leave a trap there.
“The people at Oncor actually worked with the Tyler Animal Control and they set up a trap and tried to catch him the week before the snowstorm, but they didn’t have any luck,” Vasil said.
A couple of days before the worst of the winter storm, Vasil said Brooks was seen at the Smith County Appraisal District Office.
“Which is down about a mile and a quarter away from where he had been,” Vasil said. “Which I guess a mile is not that far for a dog, but to go that far several times and across Loop 323 is astonishing.”
Vasil spent many hours, days, and even overnight in the parking lot to try and rescue Brooks. Time went on, traps went out, and more people were becoming invested in his story, but still no luck.
“After the storm he came back into the Oncor area where we again started trying to trap him. But he was a little too fast for the trap,” Vasil said. “Then the next day he was trying to go across Fifth St., which he’d done many times, but this time he wasn’t quite as lucky. This time he got hit by a car and when I first got the text I was heartbroken.”
Rebekah Arrazate, Brooks’ current foster, met Vasil while bringing food and water to Brooks the last few months. She is not new to fostering and said a Tyler rescue, Angel Paws, agreed to help with his situation.
“Then the night that he got hit they called me and asked if I would be willing to still take care of him even though he’d been hit and get him through that,” she said. “And I said, ‘Of course, even more so.’”
Brooks is just under two weeks out of surgery. He lost his right eye but had no broken bones or internal damage. As word got out about the accident, those following Brook’s story did something huge.
“They started calling in donations for his vet care and the entire bill at the emergency clinic was paid for in full by the call in donations, a little over $18 hundred, and they raised that in less than 24 hours,” Arrazate said.
Now Brooks is with Arrazate being fostered and she said the first thing they are working on is being on a leash.
“Because he’d been free for so long. When I took him outside in the backyard to go potty, started off with two leashes because I just didn’t trust him,” she said. “Still don’t trust him off leash in the yard.”
While this story has a better ending than some, Vasil and Arrazate still want to see more done about strays and dumping animals in East Texas.
“If we had the laws and the legislation we probably wouldn’t have near the stray population that we have,” Arrazate said.
“I really felt he needed to be rescued. And now that I understand the situation more, I really wish that everybody would take the situation more seriously,” Vasil said. “I know it’s not the biggest problem we face as a country or a state, but it seems like it’s one we could solve if we tried to.”
Brooks’ foster says Angel Paws is currently looking through applications to find the best and most fitting home for him.
Brooks’ success story was thanks to the kindness of many. This included Vasil, Arrazate, Angel Paws, O’Malley Alley Cat, the good Samaritan who stopped traffic after Brooks was hit. Tyler Police for taking Brooks to the clinic, Tyler Animal Control who attempted to capture Brooks as well, and all of the people following his story and donating for his medical bills.