The Rhode Island police officer went above and beyond on April 30, and a woman named Peggy Edwards recognized him on Facebook for it

By Amy Jamieson
Updated May 04, 2016 07:09 PM
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A police officer who rescued a terrified pooch stuck in a dark Rhode Island tunnel is now famous thanks to a Facebook post.

A woman named Peggy Edwards was so pleased with the officer’s selfless act that she captured a photo of the rescue and shared it across Facebook, where his heroics — with bare feet, no less — received more than 12,000 likes and over 4,000 shares.

“I wanted to share this picture with everyone I can … On Sat. April 30th, a little dog was running free and was frightened by a passing car. It ran into a tunnel that a nearby brook flows through. She was stuck about 20-25 [feet] in and was clinging to the side. We tried to help but were afraid of scaring her further in,” Edwards wrote on May 1. “A call to Woonsocket police and fire depts. sent Officer Joe Brazil to the rescue. He went in without hesitation and came out with a very wet, scared little dog. Great guy, lucky dog. We are very happy he was able to save the little gal.”

According to the Woonsocket Call, the dog is named Sese and is now back with her owner after spending two nights in an animal shelter following the rescue.

Edwards hoped her post about Brazil would shine a positive light on law enforcement.

“With all the negatives people post and say about police, I thought we should see a positive moment,” she wrote. “It may not seem like much to most people but it meant a lot to us and to that scared little dog, it made a world of difference as certain death was at the end of that tunnel. Thank you Officer Brazil … hope the dog is doing well.”

Brazil tells PEOPLE he is overwhelmed by the attention the story has received.

“So many people showing appreciation not only for what I did but for all police officers around the nation is truly a good feeling,” he said in an email. “It is why we wanted to put on the badge in the first place and it’s a reminder of the appreciation from the citizens we are sworn to protect.”