Deaf dog alerts owner to suspected burglar in Salem - KPTV - FOX 12

Salem man holds burglary suspect at gunpoint with help from his deaf dog

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A friendly English Springer Spaniel named Bonnie, who also happens to be deaf, is being praised by her owner for helping him catch a suspected intruder in their Salem home.

Dan Strasser said he heard Bonnie running around the living room at about 6 a.m. Saturday, so he got out of bed to see why she was so excited.

"She smelled him because she does have a very good sense of smell," said Strasser. "She jumped up and got all excited thinking someone was there to play."

He said Bonnie didn't bark or bite like a guard dog, but the commotion she made was enough to alert him.

When he walked into the living room, Strasser said he caught the intruder trying to steal his laptop. Strasser said the man took off, but instead of running out the back door where he came in, he accidentally ran into the garage, where he was cornered.

"As you can imagine there's a lot going on in his mind, like ‘How do I get out of this place?' It's dark and he doesn't know it."

Strasser said he grabbed his gun and held the intruder in the garage while his girlfriend called 911.

"There was a lot of, ‘I'm sorry,'" said Strasser. "He starts talking about how he wants to go home and see his kid and asks if I would please let him go. All the stuff you'd say if you're caught and you don't want to go to jail."

Police showed up and arrested the intruder, who they later identified as Thomas Lowell, 25. He was arraigned in court Monday on charges of burglary and possession of methamphetamine. He is due back in court Oct. 2.

Strasser said Lowell got in through the back door, which he kept open at night so Bonnie could get into the backyard. He plans to keep it closed and locked from now on.

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