There was an outpour of love and support from the community who wanted to make sure the child had a reason to smile on Christmas.
Instead of staying warm and cozy at home with his family for the holidays, a three-year-old boy was abandoned in a snow-covered cemetery with his puppy just a couple of days before Christmas.
The incident came to light after a woman spotted a car pulling away from the cemetery, leaving behind the little boy as he tried to run behind the moving vehicle. With no way to keep up with the fleeing car, the boy was abandoned alone in freezing temperatures with no one else except his dog, as reported by Mirror.
At the time, a woman nearby saw the distressing sight of the helpless boy, wearing wet clothes and no shoes, running after the moving car, which has only been described as a blue and medium-sized vehicle, and she immediately called 911, according to New York Daily News.
Boy, dog abandoned in cemetery days before Christmas: A witness allegedly saw the little boy and dog get out and run after a blue mid-sized car fleeing the cemetery at a high rate of speed. https://t.co/LDNEnkoD1O— ABC 27 (@abc27) December 30, 2020
After the police were informed, officers arrived to find the boy at the Hope Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Ohio with the dog, and both were taken into protective custody. While speaking to the officers, the little boy said that his name was Tony, and he was able able to give out the first names of his parents. But he was unable to give them an address of where officers might find them, as reported by Mirror.
From the moment word got around about the 3-year-old being abandoned on December 23, people in the community sent emails, made phone calls, and extended their support to help little Tony find a home. Many selfless people even dropped off presents for the boy in the hopes of turning his tragic Christmas around.
"I would like to thank everyone for their kindness in wanting to buy Christmas presents for Tony, take him in and adopt him. You all are amazing people and why we have such a great community here in Hinckley, all of Medina County and beyond," wrote Chief David Centner on the Hinckley Police Department - Ohio's Facebook page.
While the boy's father was said to be cooperative with the police after the boy was abandoned, the mother currently remains the focus of the police investigation. According to WSYX ABC 6, the mother is currently at a local medical facility; once released, she may be charged in connection with leaving the child deserted in a graveyard and turning her back on him.
In the most recent update that Hinckley Police Department put out on Facebook, Chief Centner wrote, "I would like to update our case with our little friend Tony. This week he was placed back in the care of his father and reunited with his dog. I spoke with his father this morning and he expressed his appreciation to everyone for their generosity and said Tony is doing very well. I want to make it clear that the father was in no way involved with this incident and has been extremely cooperative with HPD and Children Services."
Taking a moment to thank all those who extended their love and support for the young boy, Chief Centner added, "With regards to the outpouring of gifts, phone calls, emails and posts extending your love and caring for Tony... We are truly humbled by the response not only locally but from across our great country! We can not thank each of you enough for your love and support. This outpouring is what makes Hinckley and our surrounding communities the best place to live and work!"