At First Sight: An NYPD Officer Finds a New Family Member After a Routine Rescue

February 7, 2018


At just seven months old, little Jerome came to the ASPCA in late August, 2017, underweight and in need of care. The puppy had been brought to us by the NYPD, after the 75th Precinct’s ASPCA liaison, Sergeant Timothy Cecchini, saw him in a local residence. Since 2014, the NYPD has worked in partnership with the ASPCA to help animals like Jerome, and give them an opportunity at a second chance. Jerome’s underweight condition prompted the responding officers to seek immediate help for the ailing dog. 

Jerome when he was found

Jerome just after being taken into the NYPD's 75th precinct.

Once Jerome came into our care, he was taken to the ASPCA Animal Recovery Center (ARC), where veterinarians worked to get his weight up, as well as provide the basic care that a puppy Jerome’s age needed.

While ARC staff worked to improve Jerome’s health, one 75th Precinct NYPD officer couldn’t get the pup out of his mind. When Jerome was first brought to the precinct, Officer Nicholas Kester was there. For Officer Kester, Jerome’s arrival would prove to be a wonderful and unexpected turn of events. Jerome quickly took to Nicholas, sitting beside him and showing the NYPD officer his loving, affectionate side. 

“I guess we connected with each other,” says Nicholas. Moved by his connection with Jerome, it wasn’t long before Nicholas called the ASPCA Adoption Center to inquire about adopting his new friend. 

“I felt he needed a chance,” Nicholas told us about his decision to adopt. “Since someone is home all day in my family, I decided to give him a chance at having a better life.”

In early October, after more than a month spent getting his weight up, Jerome was given that chance. Nicholas made the adoption official, and sweet, playful Jerome went on his way to a loving home. After his adoption, Jerome was even given a new name—Maxwell, after one of Nicholas’s favorite songs by The Beatles.

Two months following Maxwell’s adoption, Nicholas tells us that he is absolutely spoiled, but that they are working with him closely to help him overcome the traumas of his past. “Maxwell is adjusting after whatever happened to him,” Nicholas says. “He is a timid puppy, but learning to trust people—especially men.” 

Nicholas also tells us that while Maxwell still seems apprehensive at times, he is a smart pup and a very fast learner. “He learned quickly about potty-training, where his food is kept and some names of his toys,” Nicholas says. “He is learning commands but sometimes just wants to play fetch! Just like a toddler, life is all about the fun.”

Maxwell’s life is certainly not lacking in fun! Nicholas adds that Maxwell’s favorite activities now include things like tug-of-war and fetch, and that new sights and smells still amaze the young dog. Maxwell also plays well with Nicholas’ ten-year-old resident dog, who has become a big sister to the active pup. 

Jerome (now Maxwell) with his new older sister

According to Nicholas, Maxwell is up early, ready to play and there when you come home most days. “He is a great dog that protects his family, and will greet you at the door,” he says. 

When asked about what advice he might have for someone considering adopting a shelter dog, Nicholas told us that he believes that patience and understanding is key. “Have patience, especially when dealing with an abused animal who has become used to one way of life,” he says.