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Photo of Police Officer and K9 Partner During Hurricane Irma Goes Viral

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A photo posted by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department of two of their hardworking police officers – one human and one canine — who were catching up on some much-needed rest while holding each other’s hand has gone viral.

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Fort Lauderdale Police Department

The picture that has captured the hearts of the social media world was taken during the ongoing rescue efforts for victims of Hurricane Irma. After being posted, it quickly accumulated 5,000 likes and almost 2,000 shares on Twitter.

The post bears the hashtags #WeAreInThisTogether as FLPD is one of the many police departments aiding people who were devastated by the hurricane. The police dog in the photo is helping police officers save lives but many pets just like him have been abandoned by their owners in Florida as families evacuated to safety.

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AP

Reports of pets left by owners tied to trees or cars in Florida had reached the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control office and its officials have stressed that leaving pets in such conditions is a crime.

“They are left in a yard, in a pen they cannot escape from or tethered to trees or poles,” said Palm Beach County Director of Animal Care Diane Suave. “Even a tiny bit of sand can hurt an animal when it’s traveling through 100-plus mph winds.”

Officials are currently working with the Florida State Attorney’s Office to ensure that all owners who have committed such animal cruelty will be dealt with according to the law. “This is a prime example of animal cruelty. We will find you and we will prosecute you,” said State Attorney Dave Aronberg.

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North America/GettyImages

Boynton Beach Police Department Chief Jeffrey Katz was equally disturbed upon learning about the abandoned pets that he tweeted: “There’s a special place in … county jail for people who do such things. @BPPD will gladly arrange transportations & accommodations.”

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