With all the negative news in the world, it’s nice to see stories that emphasize the bond between man and his best friend — or at least, his best animal friend.
Last December in Kissimmee, Florida, a white and tan pit bull mix was hit by a car. When Deputy Josh Fiorelli of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office showed up, he knew just what to do to help the poor pup.
He sat next to her and draped his jacket over her as they waited for animal services to arrive.
According to WFTV, a man walking by noticed and took a photo, and since then the story has been circulating online.
“It was cold out. She was wet,” told WFTV. “She didn’t have anyone there so I decided to be that person.”
He was surprised by the dog’s calm demeanor in the face of the immense pain she must have been suffering.
“I know a lot of dogs become defensive when they get hurt,” Fiorelli added. “She was not defensive at all. She was acceptive of me trying to pet her and take care of her.”
“Deputy Fiorelli cares for an injured dog who was hit by a car and waits with him until animal control arrives,” the sheriff’s office shared on Dec. 16. “Thank you Deputy Fiorelli for serving with care and compassion.”
The pup eventually made it to the Osceola County Animal Services shelter and was determined to have a dislocated leg.
She needed surgery and other medical care, but thanks to the deputy’s kindness, at least she had someone to comfort her so she wouldn’t be left alone on the side of the road, cold and in pain.
No one stepped forward to claim the pit bull, and she had no identifying information, so she stayed at the rescue.
“Keep an eye on them,” Fiorelli said, referring to pets. “They may only be a part of your life, but you’re their whole life.”
The public as well as fellow law enforcement officers noted Fiorelli’s actions and praised him online.
“I would like to take a moment to personally thank Deputy Sheriff Josh Fiorelli for going above and beyond the call of duty this morning with the love and care he provided to this little helpless dog, after being struck by a vehicle,” Sheriff Russ Gibson shared.
“Thank you to Commissioner Viviana Janer and WFTV Anchor, Nancy Alverez, for acknowledging Deputy Fiorelli as well!! We are definitely #Communitystrong, my friends! Merry Christmas and God bless!!”
All of that happened last year around the ultimate season of giving.
But somehow, the dog — named Fiona — was not adopted right away despite the media attention her story got.
“Regardless of the fact that Fiona has been featured on the news and several other social media outlets, she still sits at Osceola County Animal Services waiting for the right family to notice her,” METTA Rescue Family posted this past May. “This special girl has been through so much as you can hear her full story in the video. As much as the shelter staff has grown to love her, she truly deserves a home of her own.”
Fiona has been taken care of. According to the video, she’s had cysts removed, she’s been spayed, she’s had all her vaccinations and she’s been permanently microchipped — but still, no home.
“Fiona and Cannon having a great time enjoying the weather,” Osceola County Animal Services posted in a September update. “Both dogs are still up for adoption waiting for their forever homes.”
“She requires a specific kind of home where she will continue to receive training. At this time Fiona prefers to hang out with adults and as you can see she loves the grass. She can go out for short walks.”
It seems that her special adoption requirements have scared off any potential adopters so far, as her photo is still listed in the “Adoptable” album on the Osceola County Animal Services page, but she still needs a real home in order to thrive.
If you know someone in the area looking to foster or adopt a dog who needs a little extra help, you can contact Osceola County Animal Services and ask about Fiona.
Last Christmas was a special time for Fiona because she was rescued — but this year has the potential to be even better if she can find a forever home.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.