When animal control officers in Daytona Beach, Florida, got a call in mid-January about an abandoned dog under a bridge, they found a tiny, wet pit bull puppy, shivering profusely in the below-freezing temperatures.
Officers James Lee and John Pearson scooped up the shaking gray pup and brought her into their patrol car, where they took turns warming the little one in front of the heater vents and rubbing her with a towel. The pup mewled pitifully as the officers cuddled and comforted her. She was likely only a few weeks old. They named her River, as she was found under the Seabreeze Bridge, near the Halifax River.
It took some doing, but River eventually warmed up. She became a hit on the Daytona Beach Police Department Facebook page as followers heard her story and charted her progress as she recovered.
River was nursed back to health at the Halifax Humane Society, where she had a lot of fans. But one particular friend kept particularly close attention to her progress and visited her often. Daytona Beach PD Officer Kera Cantrell became pals with the little pup, and the two bonded. Cantrell couldn't help but adopt the pup who, many insist, should become the department's new mascot.
As the Daytona Beach PD pointed out, she "fell in love with this little canine and the feeling was mutual!"
Now River has a happy (warm) home and a big brother named Goose.
So it's a happy ending all around for River, thanks to the efforts of so many people.
"As you know her story ended happily; she is safe and sound and very loved in the home of one of our police officers," posted the Daytona Beach PD. "And we really want to thank the person, whoever you are, who called and let DBPD know that River had been left to die under the Seabreeze Bridge in mid-January when the temperature had fallen to below freezing."
And River even has her own Facebook page for fans who want to keep up with her happy, new life.