Even the most hardened and cynical internet users seem to have been touched by this viral video of a Russian policeman helping a limping dog through the traffic.
Dashcam videos typically capture scenes of brutal violence or spine-chilling accidents, but this particular one excels at triggering positive emotions, at least according to Russian YouTubers.
Footage that emerged online on Tuesday shows a stray dog standing on the side of the road in Chelyabinsk, Russia (1,783km east of Moscow) waiting for the chance to cross the street – somewhat desperately as cars continuously go by. The animal’s sorrowful anticipation grabbed the attention of a local traffic policeman, who left his car and stopped the traffic for the dog.
The heartwarming scene quickly went viral, eliciting a wave of uplifting and life-affirming comments. “I want only videos like this in the news. Otherwise anger and despair will take over me,” the top-rated comment on Russian site Pikabu reads.
“Today I believe in mankind!” one person wrote on YouTube. Many praised the policeman for showing compassion, though one commenter said he should have called animal control since the dog was limping and apparently injured.
One YouTube channel was so inspired by the policeman’s kindness that it even proposed launching a nationwide challenge aimed at helping homeless animals.
Stray dogs populate many Russian cities in significant numbers as animal shelters struggle keep up with demand. A 2018 Russian law prohibits the killing of animals and other forms of mistreatment, though cases of violence against street dogs and cats continue to surface in the news.