This stray puppy was without a friend in the world – that is, until she found just the person to help change her life forever.
Kareem Garibaldi, an officer with the Lakeland Police Department in Florida, was patrolling the city early one Saturday morning when he almost hit a little puppy with his car.
The little boxer/pitbull mix only looked to be about 8 weeks old but was running around the street all alone, without any type of identification, and it was only a matter of time before someone would accidentally hit her.
Immediately, he took the dog to his home. The next day, he tried once again to find the puppy’s owner, but again to no avail. He traveled up and down the neighborhood the puppy had been found in, looking for anyone who was missing her. Garibaldi also posted pictures of the puppy on social media in hopes of someone recognizing the little pup. However, despite his best efforts, Garibaldi came up empty-handed.
But when Garibaldi finished work this time, he did more than making sure she was safe.
First thing in the morning, after his third 12-hour shift in as many days, Garibaldi brought the puppy to the SPCA Florida for a checkup. Upon arriving to work, the shelter’s safety net manager, Connie Johnson, was touched to see just how dedicated the officer was to the little dog under his care.
“I walked in, and that’s when I saw him and the puppy,” Johnson told. “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.”
He took the dog to the doctor for a checkup. For the next three hours, Garibaldi continued to wait while vets assessed the dog – who, aside from having some mites, was found to be in good health.
“It clearly was a selfless thing to do. He wasn’t thinking about getting home to sleep. He was thinking about what he could do to help this puppy survive,” said Johnson. “He actually woke up at one point just to see if she was OK, then he went back to sleep.”
After the checkup, Garibaldi brought the puppy, later named Hope. Now, the puppy had Garibaldi by his side, and the kind police officer was ready to go the extra mile for the little pup.