ST. LOUIS — Alley’s story has a sad start but a very happy ending.
“Well, she’s living the life now,” said Kyle Lyon, Alley the dog's new adoptive dad.
Lyon is a police officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He was on the job one day recently when he and his partner found a homeless man in an alley. He was unresponsive and was pronounced dead.
Officer Lyon and his partner tried to approach the man, but Alley stood over her owner and gave them a growl.
It turned out Alley had stayed by her owner’s side after he passed away for at least a day and a half, shivering and starving in the cold.
Officer Lyon said he had to get creative to coax Alley away from her owner. Tater tots with a sprinkling of patience and persistence paid off.
“I coaxed her with some tater tots and we became best friends,” Officer Lyon wrote in a Facebook post.
Lyon then took Alley — he named her after where she was found — to the Center for Animal Rescue & Enrichment of St. Louis, also known as CARE STL.
Lyon said he couldn’t wait to check in on her.
“I told them to put my name for an adoptee,” he said.
As soon as his shift was over, he went back to the rescue. Shelter workers allowed him to foster Alley until the time was up for her original owner’s next of kin to claim her. She went home with Lyon that day and quickly hit it off with his two other dogs.
Photos: Officer rescues dog that stood by her owner's side after he died
“She was stressed and exhausted the first few days, but now she’s a completely different dog — loving life!” he wrote on Facebook.
Lyon said the original owner’s family in Texas reached out, wanting to check in on Alley.
“They were just ecstatic that I took her,” he said.
“The family said they couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome than Officer Lyon adopting Alley,” an official with CARE STL told 5 On Your Side.
Officer Lyon and the family of Alley’s original owner now stay in touch.
“I got their phone numbers, sent them all the photos of Alley, and my two other pups, and we’ve been friends since. They’re amazing people,” Lyon said.
Whether she’s lounging on the couch, cuddling with her new best friends or snuggling in Lyon’s lap, photos shared by CARE STL and Officer Lyon show Alley fitting right in to her new life.