Ohio boy and his dog found abandoned at cemetery days before Christmas, community sends gifts to lift spirits

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An Ohio community and police department rallied around a 3-year-old boy who was found abandoned with his dog at a cemetery just two days before Christmas, delivering the child numerous presents to brighten his spirits during the holiday, authorities said.

When officers arrived at Hope Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Dec. 23 they found they boy, identified as Tony, the Hinckley Police Department said.

A witness told officers that she spotted the boy and a dog running after a blue mid-sized car as the vehicle sped away from the cemetery, police said.

Tony was taken into protective services and placed with a foster family in Medina County, Hinckley police Chief David Centner said.

A 3-year-old boy identified as Tony was found abandoned at an Ohio cemetery with his dog, police said. The community ralled around Tony over Christmas and sent him numerous presents to lift his spirits.
(Hinckley Police Department)

Investigators were able to identify Tony’s parents, and Centner said the child’s father has been "very cooperative" with police and child services.

Tony’s father called police after a family member saw a photo of his son distributed by local media and contacted him, FOX8 Cleveland reported.

He told investigators the child had been in his mother’s custody at the time he was abandoned. Tony’s father and police were able to return to the cemetery to catch the dog, according to the station.

As of Wednesday, no charges have been filed.

Tony’s Christmas story touched the hearts of the community. Many people offered to buy Tony Christmas presents and dropped them off at the police department.

Centner posted a photo of the department’s lobby overflowing with wrapped presents. He wrote that on Christmas they would load Santa’s sleigh and deliver them to Tony, whom he called "our little friend."


"All of you have renewed my faith and appreciation for the wonderful community we live in and that surrounds us," Center wrote. "All of you are truly the best! God Bless all of you."

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