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Last April, Aihab Gerges spotted a man on a bike dragging a dehydrated puppy by a rope down the street in Ruskin. “I saw that and was just infuriated,” he told the St. Petersburg Times. Gerges confronted the man and tried to give the dog some water; the man responded by attacking Gerges with a knife and machete. Thankfully, he was not seriously injured, the man was arrested and the dog was rescued.

photo: Chris Zuppa/St. Petersburg TimesYesterday, Mr. Gerges was recognized by Hillsborough County commissioners with an “Animal Services Model Citizen for Bravery, Righteousness, and Humanitarian Award.” The dog he helped (”Scruffy”) attended the ceremony.

 Said Gerges: “He’s alive. He’s vibrant. He’s in good shape. I’m so happy to see him that way.”

If you believe that an animal is being abused or neglected, please take action! You may be the animals’ only hope. (Click here for links to animal control departments in each county in the state of Florida.)

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