— -- It was love at first sight for this police officer and his brand new precious puppy, Kylo.
“When I held him close, he bumped his nose next to mine and licked it,” Officer Marcus Montgomery, of the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, told ABC News. “I knew right then that I needed to get him.”
The adorable photo of their chance encounter at the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society went viral for obvious reasons after the shelter posted it to their Facebook page. The touching moment now has more than 4,000 likes and 800 shares.
They first met on Jan. 26 when Montgomery was responding to a call about a situation at PAWS regarding a former employee.
“As I began to wrap up my conversation with [the director], the supervisor came back into the office with Kylo in her hand,” he recalled. “As soon as I saw him, I said ‘don't bring him in here or else I will take him home right now.’”
When the police officer learned of the puppy’s sad backstory, he was tempted even more.
“The supervisor explained to me that he was left all alone in a box behind their building overnight,” said Montgomery. “During that time, we were achieving 30 and below weather, so just thinking about him out there all alone, probably so confused, broke my heart. I've heard him whine and cry, and just imagining him in that box by himself, tugged at my heart terribly.”
He initially didn’t think he’d be able to care for another dog with his busy work schedule since he already has a dog named Vader that he’d previously adopted from the shelter. But after chatting it over with his girlfriend, they ultimately decided Vader needed a buddy. Keeping with the “Star Wars” theme, they appropriately named him Kylo.
Montgomery is now fostering Kylo until he can officially be adopted in a few weeks when he’s a little older, and he hopes his new pup’s story will inspire people.
"I hope Kylo's story teaches people to look into their local animal shelters and give these abandoned dogs a new lease on life,” he said. “Don't let them go forgotten in the black hole of a shelter. Just let them know they can be loved again.”
“We’re just glad everything worked for this little guy,” said the director of PAWS, Dee Thompson.