Experiencing homelessness means having to make tough decisions every day.
In a recent Facebook post, The McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee shared a photo of a heartbreaking note found pinned to the collar of an abandoned dog. This mixed-breed pup named Lilo was picked up by a kind stranger and brought to the shelter, where they learned the dog had been abandoned for a very sad reason.
“My name is Lilo,” the note read. “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 love to be loved on. Please don’t abuse me.”
In an open letter to the dog’s owner, the shelter said that while it is illegal to abandon an animal, this is clearly a time that should be an exception and they feel nothing but compassion for the woman who is clearly going through a difficult time.
“We are so sorry that you had to make the decision to leave her behind,” they wrote. “We know many folks are struggling to care for their pets right now. We know how hard it must be to give up an animal you so clearly loved because you can’t provide the care she needs. We understand.”
“We want you to know she is safe, and we will take the very best care of her,” they went on. “She will be loved by our staff and volunteers, we will keep her name, and we promise you we will do our best to find her a wonderful new home.”
The shelter went on to say that they hope she will reconsider and come back to reclaim the dog, and offered to help her find resources to help her keep her beloved companion.
“Please know that we understand, we will not judge, and we are here to help in any way we can,” the post concluded.
Social media users were saddened by the story, but the very next day the shelter shared a beautiful photo of the owner reuniting with Lilo.
“While we can’t share a lot of the details with you yet, we are actively working with the family to set them up with a safe haven, shelter, and resources to stay together and tackle homelessness,” they wrote. “We are thankful for everyone who has advocated for the family, and shared our post. We are amazed at the outpouring of support. It truly takes a community, and you all have certainly shown us how powerful ours is – thank you so much.”
Instead of judging the woman, this shelter showed nothing but compassion and kindness. Their open letter was a master class in offering judgement-free help and encouragement to others, and we can all learn from their example.
Share this story to remind others that shelters are full of stories like these, and you can be the answer to a homeless pet’s problem!