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June 23, 2021

Pet detective draws police angst again, this time over rescued dog

More than a week after a small dog named “River” was rescued by a Gilroy man from Uvas Creek with a brick tied to its hind legs, the Gilroy Police Department and Humane Society of the Central Coast – which recently roused concerns from Hollister police as well – and are at odds about how and when the little dog should be adopted.

Two-year-old River is currently at a foster home under the supervision of Humane Society of the Central Coast President Scott Borgioli, but as of Wednesday, police stepped in to take over the investigation and adoption process of the dog, according to Police Sgt. Chad Gallacinao.

Borgioli had taken the investigation under his wing prior to this week, and was working on getting River adopted, possibly to a family outside of the Gilroy area out of caution for the best interest of the animal.

But police are worried that Borgioli doesn’t have the authority to handle this investigation.

“He has no jurisdiction in the city of Gilroy regarding animal control matters,” Gallacinao said.

Borgioli maintains that as an official chapter of the Hollister-based Humane Society, he does.

But both parties agree on one thing: Although the process is currently on hold, River will eventually be adopted to a loving home in the near future.

“I’m certain that we could probably find a loving environment in our community and we don’t see the reason why the dog would need to be sent out of state,” Gallacinao said.

Hector Beltran was with his kids playing near the water in Christmas Hill Park on Miller Avenue last week when they spotted a dog barely keeping her head above water. Beltran said he grabbed her out of the creek to find a brick tied to a rope around her legs. He took the dog, who appeared weak, to a local veterinarian.

Beltran and the two children who helped to rescue River were awarded Humane Hero Awards on Thursday by Borgioli.

Borgioli faced questions from Hollister police in the spring of this year after he had launched the local organization. Police officials were concerned about what legal jurisdiction Borgioli has and to what extent he can conduct investigations.

The Free Lance staff contributed to this report.

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