The homeless dog took a leap of faith when the police officer pulled up next to her.

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Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Rick Gable is the ulti-mutt example of protect and serve.

Trooper Gable was working stationary patrol in late September from the Batavia Post near Cincinnati, Ohio, when his path crossed with a stray pit bull in the middle of the road.

Gable tells Daily Paws that when he noticed the dog, he activated his overhead lights to slow down oncoming traffic in an effort to keep her safe from other drivers. Once he stopped his car and opened his driver side door to get out, the dog simply crawled right into the car alongside Gable. Only later would it become clear that this desperate act would change both of their lives forever.

state trooper posing with his newly adopted pit bull
Credit: Courtesy of Rick Gable / Ohio State Highway Patrol

Trooper Gable took the friendly pup to a dispatch center, and staff there contacted the Clermont County Animal Shelter to come pick up the dog. A shelter employee came to transport her back to their facility in hopes of reuniting her with her family. She was held for three days at the shelter as she patiently waited for her owners to claim her.

But no one ever did.

Thankfully the pooch still had someone thinking about her outside the shelter walls. Trooper Gable had kept tabs on the sweet brown pooch who'd crawled into his patrol car days before. "Once I found out she was not claimed after the third day, I went to the Clermont County Animal Shelter and adopted her," Gable says.

What was it about the stray dog—now named Zoey—that made Gable decide to make her an official member of the family? It's a feeling any animal lover can relate to. "Zoey seemed so happy when she crawled into my patrol car. When she fell asleep on my lap while waiting for the Clermont County Animal Shelter to arrive, I knew she was secure with me."

It's only been a few weeks since Zoey officially joined the Gables, but he says she's fitting right in, and savoring the attention and affection she's getting. "She fits in well with our family and is great with people!"

We're so glad this sweet pit bull found her forever home with Gable. In a sweet twist of fate, it seems they were meant to be together.