D’aww. I couldn’t leave him in the cold either! (Photo Credits: Tuolumne County Sheriff/Facebook)

Ruger the black lab must have good instincts. Or maybe he’s seen some Disney movies. Lost on a cold winter night, he hopped into an open police car and curled up on the passenger seat all cute-like. When the officer discovered the dog riding shotgun, the dog got a free lift home.

According to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page, Deputy Jon Hammell was investigating a suspicious vehicle in Tuolumne City (a couple hundred miles east of San Francisco) in the middle of the night when he left his patrol car open and running.

Apparently it was about 20 degrees out, and Ruger was looking for a warm spot to sleep. As dogs do. Adorably.

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Ruger likely had his address on his collar, as the Sheriff’s Office didn’t seem to have much trouble finding his owners who “were very pleased to see him as they had been looking for him all evening.”

I like the idea that we live in a world where dogs go out on adventures, then figure out cute and clever ways to get back to their parents. Don’t forget to put contact information on your pet’s collar!

Hat tip to Arpad!