A stray dog on the run can be hard to snag.
But thanks to the efforts of a Girl Scout, Suffolk police will now have slip leads, or leashes, to help get dogs or other four-legged creatures to a shelter, a vet or their owner.
Victoria Glass, 13, of Lake Grove, collected about 170 slip leads and donated them to the department after she learned that officers don’t routinely carry leashes in their patrol cars.
“These slip leads will make it easier for our officers to protect an animal while they wait for an animal control officer to transport the animal to the nearest shelter,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said Tuesday at a news conference in Smithtown.
Hart was among about a half-dozen officials who came to the Smithtown Animal Shelter to thank and praise Victoria for not only identifying a need but finding a solution.
The project will earn Victoria a Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can receive. The idea for the project came, Victoria said, when her friends related an encounter with Suffolk police officers who said the department does not issue slip leads.
“She has gone above and beyond to help the Suffolk County Police Department be better equipped to handle calls in instances where they encounter a stray animal,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
Victoria, a student at the Stony Brook School, said she gets her inspiration from her mother, Joyce Glass, 46, a former bankruptcy attorney who is now an animal welfare attorney. Glass works on legislative issues involving animals, including a proposal to ban the sale of commercially bred dogs.
“I see a lot of what my mom does, and I want to help,” the teenager said. "I am just so fortunate to have what I have, that I want to give back.”