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Foster dog alerts West Valley family to stranger on back deck

SHARE Foster dog alerts West Valley family to stranger on back deck
He usually sleeps all night, sleeps right alongside the bed by me all night. It was kind of startling that he jumped up like that. – Ken Kemp

WEST VALLEY CITY — The Kemp family has one more thing to be grateful for this Thanksgiving — their foster dog who alerted them that a stranger was on their back deck.

The West Valley family brought home Lexington about a month ago from Rescue Rovers, a nonprofit, all-volunteer animal rescue organization located in Salt Lake City.

Around 2 a.m. Sunday, the 1-year-old black lab-German shepherd mix started barking and growling at the family's sliding glass door. Homeowner Ken Kemp turned on the porch light and saw a man sitting on the back deck.

“All of a sudden Lex goes crazy,” Kemp said. “He jumps up, starts barking and runs to the back door.”

As soon as Kemp saw the stranger, he called 911, only to find out police were already in the area of 4100 South and 5400 West looking for a male suspect.

"They said they already knew there was a guy in the area, they were looking for him," Kemp said. “They came through the yard, but apparently he’d ran because they didn't find him here."

Kemp said one of the scariest things is that they don't know what the man was doing there — whether he was about to break in or was just hiding from police.

"He had a black hoodie on and was pretty much all in black, and he was tucked up underneath the charcoal broiler, sitting Indian-style," Kemp said. "I just seen his face fast. We kind of looked at each other, and I backed off.”

Kemp is grateful they had the dog here to alert them of the danger.

"He usually sleeps all night, sleeps right alongside the bed by me all night," he said. "It was kind of startling that he jumped up like that."

The Kemps says it's interesting how everything works out. They found Lexington as a stray and brought him to the shelter, but his owner never claimed him. They are unable to adopt him but will care for him and attend training classes with him until the right family comes along and adopts him. Lexington returned the favor over the weekend by keeping them safe from a possible intruder.

Lexington will be the guest of honor at the Kemp Thanksgiving dinner, where he is sure to get plenty of good treats and belly rubs.

Several people have expressed interested in Lexington. The organization is going through applications and will set up appointments after the holiday in hopes of finding Lexington the best home. For more information on how to adopt this dog, go to Rescuerovers.org.

Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc

Email: hsmith@deseretnews.com