FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida police officers is being hailed a hero for helping a dog that was injured and in danger.
The incident was captured on the officer's body camera, and it's not easy to watch.
In it, you can see the officer arriving on-scene right after the dog, named Jax, had been hit by a car in Fort Lauderdale.
His owners happened to be out of town at the time, but they are crediting the actions of that officer for helping to save the life of their beloved pet.
“It was terrible, it was awful, and my heart went out immediately to the dog and the family,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Somar Lapekas. “I was genuinely concerned about this dog. I didn’t know that he would make it.”
It all happened last Friday, as the officer was patrolling the neighborhood near Southwest 4th Avenue and came across a dog chasing an iguana, with a man running behind.
But after running into the road it appeared the dog had just been hit by a car.
"I stopped traffic and pulled up," said Officer Lapekas. "The man was ok, he was not physically injured. The dog was. He was bleeding pretty bad."
That man was the father of Jax’s owners.
Body cam video shows Officer Lapekas jumping in to help before eventually transporting the injured dog to a nearby animal hospital.
She says the driver who hit Jax did stay at the scene, later claiming he hit the dog on accident.
Jax’s owners are left forever grateful for the officer’s actions, especially after watching the body camera video, for the very first time.
They said Jax probably wouldn't have made it if not for Officer Lapekas' actions.
“That’s hard to hear, because I don’t feel like I did that much,” the hero officer said. “I did what I could.”
Despite his injuries, Jax is now back home with his owners.
He’s a little banged up and is still on some medications, but he is expected to make a full recovery.
As for the officer, when asked if she would do it all over again, she says she no doubt would.