“They didn’t have to help but because they did, a dog and her loving family are reunited”
When this mother of two became homeless, she didn’t think she had any other choice but to give her dog up in hopes that she would find a new family to take care of her.
The McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was facing a heartbreaking situation. A good Samaritan brought in a dog with a note and leash attached. The note read:
“Please keep my name. My name is Lilo. Please love me. My mom can’t keep me and is homeless with two kids. She tried her best but can’t get help. I cost too much for her. She really loves me, and I’m a great dog and loved to be loved on. Please don’t abuse me.”
Moved to want to help, the McKamey Animal Center published the note along with a photo of Lilo on Facebook in an effort to reunite the owner with her dog once again. The post said:
“If you are reading this, we hope you will come forward to reclaim her. We will help you with whatever you need to care for her, to the best of our ability. Lilo definitely misses you, and we would like nothing more than to see her go back to the family she loves.”
The shelter also pleaded for people not to abandon their animals and included information and resources for those unable to care for their pets. The post was soon liked more than 5,000 times and received over 3,000 shares.
The shelter didn’t know what the outcome of the post would be, but they said if she didn’t come forward, staff and volunteers will keep her name and do their best to find her a new home. But then something amazing happened.
The shelter was able to reunite the woman and her dog. And, not only were they reunited. When thousands of people learned of the woman experiencing homelessness, they wanted to help, too.
With the support of the community, the shelter is now working to help the woman and her kids find housing and support. The shelter shared:
“We are actively working with the family to set them up with a safe haven, shelter, and resources to stay together and tackle homelessness,” the post read. “It truly takes a community, and you all have certainly shown us how powerful ours is – thank you so much.”
In a follow up they shared:
“We are truly blown away at the outpouring of support we have received in honor of Lilo and her story! We are working with some of the amazing non-profit agencies here in the Chattanooga area to get her family the support they need to be reunited and find long-term solutions for their situation.”
Many of you have asked about a Go-Fund-Me campaign or other ways to directly support the family financially — that’s not something we here at McKamey can facilitate, ultimately that will be up to Lilo’s mom, but please know that finances will not be a barrier to any of the services MAC provides to them.
Sadly, we know that many other families in similar situations don’t have this outpouring of love and support. For them, and in Lilo’s honor, we have decided to establish a fund dedicated to preventing as many families as possible from being separated from their beloved pets.
Donations made to this new fund, tentatively called The MAC Cares Fund, will help people and their pets stay together when homelessness and financial hardship loom by providing things like pet deposits for housing, temporary boarding of animals, food, supplies and essential veterinary care, and more. We are still working out the details, but are very excited about how many families this can help!
If you would like to donate to the MAC Cares Fund and help us prevent family separations in the future, please visit https://mckameyanimalcenter.salsalabs.org/maccaresfund/index.html
We hope you enjoyed this heartwarming story. As always, please feel free to share with your friends.