A few weeks ago, officers from the Orlando Police Department arrested a suspect on charges of grand theft — but soon found that she was not alone. In her company was a mass of matted fur.
It was a little dog whose condition was indicative of neglect.
“It was very clear that this little guy needed some help that he wasn’t getting at home,” Dannielle Southon, founder of Central Florida Fosters, told The Dodo. “[It] was obviously heart wrenching.”
The dog’s discovery by police, however, sparked a new beginning.
Following the arrest, officers transported the dog, named Sullivan, to a nearby animal shelter.
Later, after it was determined that his owner was unfit to reclaim him, Southon stepped in to offer Sullivan a second chance as a foster.
“Seeing his picture really pulled at my heart strings,” Southon said. “I knew from when I first met him that he was going to be a sweetie, as he immediately started giving me kisses when I met him.”
Before Sullivan left the shelter, a volunteer gave him something he’d been without for so long — a much-needed grooming.
And with that, his adorable face was finally revealed.
“Oh my gosh, such a change!” Southon said. “I can’t imagine how much better he feels having gotten rid of that dirty and smelly hair.”
Since then, Sullivan has not only grown more comfortable in his body, but in his spirit as well.
“He’s definitely very playful — which isn’t surprising given his age [1.5 years old] — and coming out of his shell every day,” Southon said. “He is so laid-back and chill, too, which is great for someone who wants a good all-around dog!”
In a short time, so much had already changed for the better for Sullivan. And he got to the chance to thank the person whose actions led him down that healthier path.
Southon decided to arrange a reunion between Sullivan and the officer who got him the help he needed.
“She cried, I teared up. [Just] seeing how happy he was with her was so heartwarming,” Southon said. “She couldn’t get over how great he looked, and kept saying how he seemed like a totally different dog now.”
For as much as life has already begun to improve for Sullivan, Southon is optimistic that the best is yet to come with a new family of his own.
“He has been vaccinated and is now accepting applications for his FurEver home!” Southon said. “Let’s find this boy the type of home he deserves!”