Stories of police dogs, horses and even cats are plentiful, but outside of April Fool’s Day pranks, rodents don’t typically make the list. However, the Garfield Heights Police Department in Ohio has offered a home to an unusual newcomer — a guinea pig that was abandoned by its owner.
It all began when a concerned citizen reported they had found two guinea pigs outdoors, exposed to the elements with no food or water. Sadly, one of the pair died before the animal warden arrived. The other was rescued, but was in dire straits.
“She was extremely skinny and very timid around people,” the department said in a Facebook post. “After a few short weeks, she has finally begun to trust human beings again. Our Dispatchers and Officers have created such a bond with her that we just did not want her to leave. So, without further ado, please welcome our newest member of our Police Department, Bolo!”
With a name that’s short for “Be on the lookout” in cop lingo, plus her black-and-white markings reminiscent of a police cruiser, Bolo has now become a mascot for the agency. She is keeping dispatchers company in the dispatch center and gets frequent visits from officers. Everyone at the department, from admin staff to records clerks and jailers, is enamored with the cute recruit, and her story has made her a local hero.
While Bolo may be America’s first police guinea pig, the title of world’s first was claimed by a New Zealand guinea pig named Constable Elliot, who served with the Wellington Police, “spreading prevention messaging about crossing roads, safer driving and avoiding burglaries” (according to a department Facebook post) while clad in his own tiny uniform hat and vest, before passing away in 2017 at age 4½.