Animal Rights

Cop Rescues Stray Puppy On The Job (Photos)

| by Karin Sun
Officer Garibaldi sleeping with stray puppy by his sideOfficer Garibaldi sleeping with stray puppy by his side

A Florida police officer has found the time to help a canine in need. 

Officer Kareem Garibaldi of the Lakeland Police Department in Lakeland, Florida, found the small gray pit bull-boxer mix puppy wandering through a neighborhood while on patrol duty in the early morning of May 21, the Dodo reported. The puppy was reportedly between 8 and 10 weeks old.

After failing to track down the puppy's owner, Garibaldi took her to the station and then home with him when his 12-hour shift ended.

When he still couldn't find the dog's owner at the end of his third day working, he took her to the SPCA Florida animal shelter for a checkup early the next morning. The shelter's safety net manager, Connie Johnson, told the Dodo that she was touched by the officer's dedication.

"I walked in, and that's when I saw him and the puppy," Johnson said. "He was exhausted, the puppy was exhausted, and they were sleeping. It was one of those moments that just grab your heart. He was so determined to get her help."

During the three-hour examination, which took place from 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m., the shelter's vets determined that the puppy suffered from mites but was otherwise in good health.

"It clearly was a selfless thing to do," Johnson told the Dodo. "He wasn't thinking about getting home to sleep. He was thinking about what he could do to help this puppy survive. He actually woke up at one point just to see if she was OK, then he went back to sleep."

When Garibaldi took the puppy back to the station after the checkup, a dispatcher there reportedly fell in love with the little dog and adopted her that same day. The animal is now named Hope.

Garibaldi's colleagues in the Lakeland Police Department posted a picture that Johnson took of him and the puppy to the department's Facebook page. The photo, which was posted to the site on May 23, shows the tired officer sleeping in the shelter's waiting room with the puppy curled up by his side.

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

Garibaldi first joined the Lakeland police force on Dec. 4, 2015, according to another post on the department's Facebook page.

Sources: The Dodo, Lakeland Police Department/Facebook (2) / Photo Credit: Connie Johnson/The Dodo

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