You've heard the one about the man and his dog... well, have you ever heard the one about the man, his dog, a tent, a police force and an all-out scramble to find them a warm place to live?
At first glance, news of the arrest of a 27-year-old homeless man and his beloved pooch could be met with condemnation - and pleas for clemency.
After all, in a visible nod to the pair's desperation, the man had erected a tent on Dudley High Street to give him and his pet some meagre shelter when he was rather callously taken in on suspicion of vagrancy and separated from his furry friend.
West Midlands Police Force, however, then did something unusual, and entirely unexpected.
After putting him in custody, they pulled out all the stops - and bones - to look after the "pining pooch" until the pair could be reunited.
And rather than focusing on bureaucracy and paperwork to keep him behind bars, officers then did everything in their power to find them both a secure place to live.
Local people had apparently started complaining about the pair after they pitched up in the town centre, and the man had missed several appointments with council housing officials, Chief Inspector Paul Dolby explained.
Officers had been trying to get the pair into a hostel since they arrived in town a week ago, he said - and while arresting the man may seem extreme, he insisted that they did it to keep him safe in custody - and his dog well-fed - while they found them secure accommodation off the streets.
While he was behind bars, officers worked with a range of specialists to fasttrack his case, and he was later released without charge.
The force also wrote about the heartwarming tale on their Facebook page.
“I am delighted that Sergeant Alan Hands and his team have managed to secure accommodation for this young man and dog," Chief Insp Dolby said.
“This kind act shows the community that we do listen to their concerns and demonstrates officers going above and beyond their normal line of work to help a man and his dog in need.
“With everything in place the man was released without charge. His dog had been looked after by his pal with officers attempting to feed the pining pooch to cheer it up."
Chief Insp Dolby said that the pair would be joyfully reunited on Thursday when kennels at a hostel in Lye became free. There's a tail to put a spring in your step.
Get rough sleepers the help they need by reporting their presence to charities via www.streetlink.org.uk.
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