Florida Officer Serves and Protects Abandoned Pittie Puppy

A Florida officer brings new meaning to the commission to serve and protect, and his viral story has melted our hearts!


I’ve always said that how a person treats an animal speaks volumes about their character and whether or not I liked them. Based on that, I believe that a humble police officer from Lakeland, Florida, has to be one of the nicest guys on the planet!


Officer Kareem Garibaldi was working a long weekend shift and found a sweet little pit-boxer puppy aimlessly wandering in the wee hours of the morning. The pup wasn’t wearing any collar and Officer Garibaldi couldn’t readily find her owner. He took her back to his station, until his shift ended, and then took the dog home with him so she’d be cared for and not alone.


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He tried to find the owner of the dog the next day but was not successful and when that day’s shift ended, he took the puppy to the SPCA Florida to make sure she was healthy and okay. Officer Garibaldi had worked three 12-hour-shifts in a row, and was exhausted, but concerned enough for the welfare of his newly found citizen he took it upon himself to help her.

When the shelter’s Safety Net Manager Connie Johnson got to work, she saw the puppy safe and warm with the big and burly officer right next to her, protecting her and waiting with her. Johnson said that Officer Garibaldi and the pup were both exhausted from the events of their previous few days and they just conked out. The heartwarming moment proved to Johnson that Officer Garibaldi was clearly willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help the dog.


Officer Garibaldi continued to prove his commitment as he stayed with the puppy for the three hours it took for the vets to assess her and see how she was. Aside from a few mites, she was in good health and secure, thanks to Officer Garibaldi’s selfless and continuous care. Johnson said that though it was obvious he was worn out, his concern was not sleep for himself, but care for the puppy, even waking up from his waiting nap to just see if she was okay.


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When the puppy, who was later named Hope, was done with her checkup, Officer Garibaldi brought her back to the station. Turns out, that was a stroke of great luck for hope as a station dispatcher saw Hope and knew she was meant to be hers. Hope was adopted that day, and Officer Garibaldi’s work to protect citizens of Lakeland was complete for that day!

The Lakeland Police Department posted about Officer Garibaldi’s selfless act of service, and the pictures, of course, went viral with people lavishing him with praise and recognition for a job well done.


We’re pretty sure Hope feels the same way!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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