Samuel DuBose was laid to rest this week, just over a week after he was shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer. For those who knew him, it was a great loss.
William Coplen is part of the local animal rescue community, and says Sam was an important part of their work.
“He also went by the name of Justin," Coplen says. "We worked together to get dogs that were either neglected or abused, or more importantly in many cases, that were going to be used in fighting situations, and got them out of Avondale, Walnut Hills, just wherever it was needed."
The family of Sam DuBose called for peaceful demonstrations this week after his funeral. Family members and friends, including Coplen, say Sam was a peaceful man.
“I witnessed legitimately a gentle man with an incredibly soft hand with animals," Coplen says. "And willing to do anything and everything and spend pretty much his last dime to help them.”
Coplen says Sam kept that part of his life quiet because he was worried about being seen as weak in his neighborhood.
“I will not speak to every aspect of his personality as I wasn’t part of his life in that way," Coplen says. "But he was as passionate as any animal rescue person as I’ve ever known, and in many ways more so. And certainly braver than most because he would go into places and get animals that were really in deplorable conditions or they were in danger because they were going to be used for fighting.”
Coplen says while DuBose could be very persuasive, he may have taken a dog from a bad situation without asking for permission. But Coplen says he always did it for the right reasons.
Coplen says that means DuBose was able to make contacts other animal rescuers couldn't.
“There’s a huge gap; there’s a void," Coplen says. "I’m not sure how I personally am going to get back into that setting and save animals out of there without him. He was the conduit. He made it possible.”
Coplen says in the two years they worked together, Sam saved more than 40 dogs.
All Dogs Come From Heaven Rescue in Amelia has named the last two puppies DuBose saved after him: a female has been named Sammi, and a male named Justin. They’ll be put up for adoption after they’ve been nursed back to health.