April 23 (UPI) -- A Minnesota police officer who responded to a report of a small dog running loose through a neighborhood ended up capturing something more unusual -- a white fox.
The Coon Rapids Police Department said Community Service Officer Eric Prindle responded to a local home where a resident reported a dog "about the size of a fox" was running loose through a yard.
Prindle spotted the animal in a nearby yard and discovered when he came closer that it wasn't a dog at all, but an actual fox. He said the animal was friendly and approached him curiously.
"It started walking toward me nonchalantly," Prindle told ABC Newspapers.
Prindle said he tapped his leg like he would to call a dog and the animal followed him as he walked back to his patrol vehicle.
"I got back to my squad and opened up the door, and it didn't hesitate and hopped right in the back of my squad," Prindle said.
He said the white fox behaved more like a domestic dog than a wild animal.
"The funny thing was you could pet the thing," Prindle said. "It was actually really friendly."
Prindle took the fox to the Save A Fox rescue in Faribault, where it was later reunited with owner Veronica Amenrud.
Amenrud said a friend had spotted a police department Facebook post and recognized the fox, named Akela.
"We were just grateful he was safe and alive," she said.
Prindle said the call-out was his first encounter with a fox while on the job.
"This was definitely one of the most memorable calls I've had," he said. "Not may people can say I've had a fox jump in the backseat of my car."