Rescuing a stray dog may not be the job of a police officer, but some friendly police officers don’t do it for the job. Some people really want to help children who cannot help themselves. Officer Karim Garibaldi of the Florida Lakeland Police Department is one such great person. Officer Garibaldi was on an early morning shift one Saturday in May 2016. While driving a patrol car, he almost ran into a little puppy mixed with a pitboxer. Puppies 8-10 weeks old had no identification tags or collars and just ran around. Without a phone number or address to contact her, Officer Garibaldi left the task of locating her dog’s and her family into his own hands. He looked around her neighborhood and posted a picture of her on her social media the next day, hoping someone could recognize her. Unhappiness. Failing to find a member of her family, he brought her puppy to her LPD to eat and keep her warm for the rest of her workday. He will never leave her for her to defend herself.
At the end of three consecutive 12-hour shifts, Officer Garibaldi knew what more could be done for this puppy. In his spare time, he brought the dog to the SPCA Florida Medical Center for grooming and examination. Officer Garibaldi sat in the waiting room from 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. While the vet examines the puppy. The shelter’s safety net manager, Connie Johnson, stumbled upon the two that morning and has now taken viral photos. “When I walked into the Florida SPCA Clinic this morning, I couldn’t help but take this picture,” she said. Officer Karin went to work all night to make sure the puppy is alive and well. Thank you so much for everything you do!! You are a source of inspiration.”
The poor man obviously needed some sleep after a long weekend, but he had other priorities. The Lakeland Police Department got attention by sharing a touching story on Facebook. “What makes the Lakeland Police Department truly unique is these friendly officers. After a long weekend, Officer Garibaldi found the strength to help man’s best friend towards the end of his shift.”
Johnson essentially mirrored the agency’s statement. She pointed out how friendly the policeman was to the dog. “It was obviously selfless. He did not intend to go home and go to bed. He thought about what this puppy could do to survive. He woke up at some point to make sure she was okay and then went back to sleep.” Fortunately, Officer Garibaldi’s efforts were very worthwhile. On the same day, the puppy was adopted by a dispatcher. She now has an apt name: Hope. The Lakeland Police Department noted that such a thing happens all the time and is rarely documented.
“This is what happens to the people in our department. Many of them do a great job to help the community, but are humble. They don’t usually notice it because they don’t do it to gain personal approval,” he said. For unnamed heroes like Officer Garibaldi on a search for their furry friends. Her hope is that if she can, she will definitely thank him again!