– For a moment, a few parents of students at Edison-Bethune Charter Academy were startled to see a police car across the street as school was let out in southwest Fresno.

But upon closer examination, their worries were quickly eased after learning that a Fresno Police officer was merely lending a helping hand to a stray dog who’s known around the neighborhood as being friendly, though somewhat dangerous looking.

Marty Solis, a truancy officer at Edison-Bethune, snapped a photo of police officer William McCarty down on one knee feeding a hungry, stray pit bull mix who had been sifting through trash and trying to eat a dead squirrel in the middle of the road.

McCarty had apparently noticed the dog walking around the neighborhood and decided to make a quick stop in a nearby store for dog food.

He then placed a bowl of food on the sidewalk to prevent the dog from going in the road to eat the squirrel, and eventually gave the dog more food after it scarfed down the first bowlful.

The dog was so skinny, its ribs were visible, Solis said.

“It was cool to see the officer do that,” said Solis, who has worked at the elementary school for 17 years. “You know, usually when the kids see an officer, they think something bad happened.

Some of the parents had stopped and were worried.

“But then we saw the kind gesture. It was real heartwarming.”

Solis’ photo post gained plenty of popularity on social media.

“That’s awesome,” commented Pat Torres. “Thumbs up to this awesome officer.”

Added Sally Sen Lam: “Amazing work out there Fresno Police!”