WACO, Texas — On a cold January night, a Waco police officer responded to a call about an injured dog lying in the middle of the street.
Weeks later, the officer and his family welcomed her into his home.
With three kids and two dogs already at home, Patrol Officer Kaleb Ayers was not planning on expanding his family any time soon.
His wife, Braxton Ayers, said the family already had too much to look after.
"The parents are outnumbered here. And so, initially, I was like, we really don't need another dog," she said.
That was until Officer Ayers found Stella in the middle of the road near 35th Street and Bosque Boulevard.
She had been hit by a car and had a gunshot wound to the back of her head.
"She was covered in blood. She could hardly move. I didn't know if she was gonna live or not," Ayers said.
After Ayers waited in the cold with her for nearly an hour, they took off to have her wounds cared for.
After hearing her story and finding out that she made it, the Ayers family had a change of heart about getting another dog.
"Yeah we're gonna keep her forever," Braxton told her kids, Clayton and Waylan.
Ayers said Stella had a microchip, but the family on the chip said they knew nothing about her.
"We went to the humane society, they hadn't heard anything. Nobody had come up there looking for her. It was like she was a ghost dog-she just came out of nowhere."
After two weeks of care, Ayers reunited with Stella to officially adopt her.