On a chilly, rainy day, NYPD Officer Michael Pascale became a hero in more ways than one when he crossed paths with a little black dog named Joey. As he patrolled a public park in his squad car, he couldn’t ignore the sight of Joey, huddled amid discarded needles and broken beer bottles.
Joey was in a dire situation, tethered to a fence by a sturdy chain around his neck, drenched from the rain, shivering, and clearly abandoned. The pitiful look in Joey’s eyes tugged at Officer Pascale’s heartstrings, and he knew he had to take action.
“The first thing that sprang to me was that I needed to get him out of here,” Pascale shared with The Dodo. What followed was a heartwarming story of rescue and adoption that would change both their lives forever.
Officer Pascale wasted no time. He took Joey to the Animal Care Centers of NYC shelter in Brooklyn, and as he dried the grateful pup with a towel, a special bond began to form between them. To Pascale, Joey was not just an animal; he saw a soul in need.
“I don’t see an animal,” Pascale emphasized. “I notice a soul. And that is not something I avoid.” He texted a photo of the forlorn pup to his wife, who didn’t hesitate to respond, “Bring him home!” The couple was ready to adopt Joey, with just one obstacle in their way.
The Animal Care Centers informed Officer Pascale that Joey had to undergo a mandatory 72-hour stray hold. This waiting period ensures that even neglected or mistreated animals have a chance to be reunited with their owners. Despite their eagerness to adopt Joey, Pascale and his wife understood the importance of this waiting period.
During those long 72 hours, Officer Pascale visited Joey every day, forming an even stronger connection with the sweet dog. Finally, when the stray hold was lifted, Pascale fulfilled his promise to Joey, adopting him and vowing to protect him from cruelty and neglect.
Joey’s transition from a cold, wet stray to a beloved family member was complete as he showered Pascale with grateful kisses. They returned home to begin a new chapter in their lives together.
Today, Joey enjoys exploring New York City with his dad and snuggling on the couch with his mom. Officer Pascale notes that Joey has become quite the “Mama’s Boy.” While Joey may not be perfect—he occasionally rummages through the garbage and still dislikes going outside in the rain—he is content and cherished.
In the end, all Joey ever truly desired was a loving home, and thanks to Officer Pascale’s compassion, he found that and more. Joey’s heartwarming journey reminds us of the incredible bond that can form between humans and animals and the transformative power of kindness and rescue.