An Ohio community and police department came together after a witness found a 3-year-old boy and his dog abandoned at a cemetery just two days before Christmas.
The little boy and his four-legged friend were dropped off at a cemetery in the northeast community of Hinckley, where a passerby saw the little guy — who wasn’t wearing shoes — and called 911, Patch reported.
To keep him safe, the witness who found the toddler stayed at Hope Memorial Gardens Cemetery until authorities arrived. Once officers with the Hinckley Police Department responded, they gave the little boy, who said his name is Tony but didn’t know his last name, clean clothes and bought him lunch.
The police department then posted a photo of the little guy on Facebook in hopes someone might know him and help get him home.
And in the true spirit of Christmas, members of the community came together to show their support for Tony. People who saw the police department’s post bought presents for the boy and some even offered to adopt him on the spot.
Police Chief David Centner described Tony as “a pretty happy little fella.”
“My wife and I have already told children’s services … we will welcome him into our home,” Centner said. “We’ve got 14 grandkids and a big house and plenty of room and love for him.”
Authorities with the police department told concerned citizens they could send Christmas gifts for Tony to their office. They also gave people Tony’s clothing size.
At that, the gifts began flooding in.
“From all of us at HPD, we want to thank everyone for your kindness, thoughts, prayers, and overwhelming love,” Centner said. “Our lobby is full from the gifts that have been dropped off.”
“I reached out to my friend Santa and, tomorrow morning, after he has finished his deliveries, he is going to stop at HPD,” he continued. “We are going to load the sleigh and make one final stop to see our little friend.”
Someone did recognize the photo police posted of Tony and contacted his father, whom authorities said has been “very cooperative,” according to NewsNation.
In fact, with the help of Tony’s dad, the police were able to catch the little boy’s dog, who had been running around the cemetery since last week.
As for Tony, he is currently in the custody of his aunt and uncle while police investigate the strange situation.