Police officer goes out of way to rescue stray puppy, falls asleep by her side at vet

So many police officers go above and beyond the line of duty to help their citizens—not just people, but animals, too.

That was certainly the case for one kindhearted officer, who went out of his way to help out a stray puppy no matter what.

Kareem Garibaldi is an officer with the Lakeland Police Department in Florida. One night on the job he nearly hit a stray dog running loose on the road.

Garibaldi pulled over and decided to take the dog, a pit bull/boxer mix only 8-10 weeks old, to safety and hopefully find her home.

According to the Lakeland PD, Garibaldi took the dog back to the police station for rest, then took her home with him.

He searched the area trying to find the dog’s rightful owners, and posted photos on social media, but couldn’t find her home.

After three days, Garibaldi did something inspiring: on his own time, and after a 12-hour-shift, he went and took the dog to SPCA Florida for a checkup.

When Connie Johnson, the shelter’s safety net manager, found the officer and the dog waiting outside, she saw that they were both sound asleep!

“I walked in, and that’s when I saw him and the puppy,” she told The Dodo. “He was exhausted, the puppy was exhausted, and they were sleeping.”

She took a picture of the adorable sight of the two napping together—and she knew how much the officer must’ve gone through to protect the dog.

“It was one of those moments that just grab your heart,” Connie said. “He was so determined to get her help.”

The photo touched the hearts of many people online as well as the officer’s colleagues.

And luckily this story has a happy ending: shortly after this viral checkup, the dog was adopted by one of the department’s dispatchers. The dog was named “Hope.”

Hope has been doing great and growing up fast in her new forever home—and still keeps in touch with her old friends at the police department.

“She is growing up quickly!” Lakeland PD wrote on Facebook. “She has already learned some basic obedience commands and loves the other dogs she lives with.”

Meanwhile Officer Garibaldi was praised for his actions, and received the
“Hometown Hero Award” for helping the dog.

“It’s the kind-hearted officers like this that makes the Lakeland Police Department truly unique,” Lakeland PD wrote. “Having worked a long weekend, Officer Garibaldi still found the energy at the end of his shift to help man’s best friend.”

Thank you Officer Garibaldi for going out of your way to help this dog! Hope has a whole new life and loving home thanks to you.

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