A BROKEN-legged stray dog owes its life to a policeman who raced to a vets where it underwent a life-saving operation.
PC Steve O'Boyle discovered the distressed black and tan mongrel in Manchester Road, Accrington, after two of its legs were broken in what he thinks was an accident with a car.
And he was so moved by the dog's plight he took it to the vet himself and agreed to find the £400 to pay for its operation.
Hyndburn's dog warden Steve Wood heaped praise on the officer.
"Power to his elbow," he said. "When dogs aren't owned, vets are reluctant to perform operations because they're a business and need to be paid."
"For Steve to say he would get the money come what may was marvellous."
PC O'Boyle, who has five goldfish and a cat called Blackie, inspired colleagues at Greenbank Police Station to have a whip-round to pay for the dog, which has been called Lucky.
He said: "He just looked up at me with these big, soft puppy eyes. I picked him up and he just nuzzled into me. I took him to the vet, who explained that because he is a stray he would have to be put down."
"I looked at Lucky, he looked at the vet, and then the dog looked at me. I couldn't let him die."
PC O'Boyle lives with his wife and three children in Accrington, and will finish his police probationary period in September.
He said: "My colleagues are saying saving the dog doesn't go with my image because I'm 6ft 2in and nearly 17 stone. Fortunately, Lucky is recovering and I'd like to thank Aspen Valley Kennels for their help, along with the RSPCA."
Sergeant Christine Driver said: "Steve is an excellent officer and this has been shown through his compassion. It was a really kind-hearted thing to do."
The police would like to stress PC O'Boyle was acting purely as a citizen, and they do not usually deal with injured dogs.