Putting a literal spin on the phrase "caught by the fuzz," officials in New Zealand have deputized a guinea pig to help teach motorists about road safety.
New Zealand’s Toughest Cop Promises To Bring Paw & Order
The story comes to us from Wellington, a city of 405,000 people, where Constable Elliot is the newest addition to the New Zealand Police.
According to his superiors (and humans, one of whom is a member of the agency's media team), he brings a varied skill set to the job, including "fluen[cy] in 'Caviidae'", which is vital should the public need a rodent interpreter.
Befitting of his new status as an agent of paw and order (soz, not soz), the 4-year-old vegetarian has been equipped with a tiny, guinea-pig sized hat and checkered vest.
In a post shared on Facebook, Elliot urged drivers to exercise caution on the streets.
"Remember people, the kids are going to be out and about walking and biking, and crossing roads. Like me, they are small and unpredictable, so you have to watch out!
Keep an eye out for school patrols and please do your part in keeping our kids safe. Drive to the conditions, reduce your speed and stay alert. Oh, and eat your greens....always eat your greens."
When the adorable critter isn't collaring lead-footed commuters or promoting anti-theft best practices, he loves "going on trips to explore new food supplies" and a good lap cuddle.
The news of Elliot's hire was met with enthusiasm and praise on Twitter.
"I can't", wrote one woman.
"OMG! LOOK AT HIS LITTLE HAT!!!!!," squeeeeeeed a second.
Others thought he was already deserving of a promotion.
And some just marveled at the ridiculousness of it all.
This seems like a timely spot to remind everyone to keep their speed in check — lest you get cuffed by the cuteness.
Have you been arrested by the sight of a cute police animal? Tell us about it in the comment section below!