SAN DIEGO -- When Officer Andre Thomas was called to investigate a stolen car last month, he didn't find the thief, but he did find a new friend in need of some help.
At the time, the loss of Thomas' beloved yellow Labrador, Melakai, was still fresh. Melakai died in March after more than a decade by Thomas' side.
The two moved together from Fresno to San Diego when Thomas was just 18 years old, and they were so close that the officer swore he'd never get another dog when the Lab passed away.
But that changed in a hurry on Oct. 7, when Thomas peered through the window of a stolen car and found a frightened yellow Lab staring back at him.
Thomas scooped up the pup and took it to San Diego Humane Society, hoping its owners would reclaim the dog. Three weeks went by and nobody came.
That's when Thomas decided his policy on new pets had a little wiggle room -- he headed back to the shelter to collect a new companion, unable to deny a dog of the same breed as his beloved Melakai.
"The two have been best friends ever since," the City of San Diego wrote in an Instagram post sharing the story.
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When Police Officer Andre Thomas responded to the call of a stolen car on Oct. 7, he was surprised to find a yellow Lab abandoned in the back of the vehicle. Only a few months prior, Officer Thomas had lost his beloved yellow Labrador, Melakai, a life-companion who had walked alongside him for over a decade. The two had made the move from their native Fresno to San Diego when Andre was just 18 years old. Andre and Melakai were so close that when his faithful, canine friend passed away of old age in March, Andre made a vow to never get another dog, a promise that he kept until he spotted a frightened, lone pup in the back of the stolen vehicle that Andre was called to investigate. Following protocol, Andre immediately took the dog to the San Diego Humane Society hoping that his owners would reclaim him. Yet when three weeks went by and nobody had come to pick up the dog, Andre knew exactly what to do. He adopted the pup, took him home and gave him a name worthy of the adversities the dog had overcome: Victor. The two have been best friends ever since. ❤️🐕 Andre has been with the San Diego Police Department for four years. As a Police Officer II, he patrols the streets of the Central Division. #SDServes #FeelGoodFriday #yellowlab @sdhumanesociety @sandiegopd
Thomas named the dog Victor, "a name worthy of the adversities the dog has overcome," the city wrote.
Thomas, who has served San Diego Police Department for four years, works in the Central Division, patrolling neighborhoods including East Village, Golden Hill and the Gaslamp Quarter.
Now when he comes home, he has a furry friend to greet him again.