Animal Shelter Reunites Abandoned Dog with Homeless Owner and They Are Getting Help in Big Way


When McKamey Animal Shelter in Chattanooga, Tennessee, posted a story of an abandoned dog and a heartbreaking situation Tuesday, it received a massive outpouring of love and support.

Now, we’re happy to be able to report that the abandoned dog, Lilo, and its owner have been reunited, and the shelter and others are working to help them be able to stay together.

It started with a good Samaritan finding a dog, by herself, leash still on, with a heartbreaking note attached to her collar.

“Please keep my name,” the note said. “My name is Lilo. Please love me.”

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The note explained the awful circumstances surrounding Lilo’s abandonment.

“My mom can’t keep me and is homeless with 2 kids,” it said. “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.”

Lilo, along with that note, ended up at the McKamey Animal Shelter. While some would look on a situation like this and come down in judgment on this dog’s owner, that’s not what the shelter did.

The tagline on the rescue’s website is “Saving animals. Helping people.” Apparently, those are not just words to those who work there.

They shared the story on Facebook and added a note to Lilo’s owner saying they wanted to reunite the dog with her owner and offering to help. It went viral.

“Lilo arrived at MAC a few days ago after a Good Samaritan found her wandering with her leash still attached, likely near where you left her,” the post said.

“We are so sorry that you had to make the decision to leave her behind. 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. 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.

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“But 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. Either way, please know that we understand.”

It added, “We would like to add that we are well connected with resources and agencies who are ready and willing to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness.”

Lilo’s owner became aware of the post and took the shelter up on its offer.

“We have an incredible update about Lilo to share with you all….her owner has been found!” the shelter said in a follow-up post Wednesday.

“While we can’t share a lot of the details with you yet,” it said, “we are actively working with the family to set them up with a safe haven, shelter, and resources to stay together and tackle homelessness.

“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.

Do you think homelessness has increased in the past few years?

“If Lilo’s story moved you, please consider being a hero for a homeless animal (or family!) in your local community.”

The response to this story was so strong the shelter decided to set up a fund to help people who are in this situation stick together and improve their lives.

It’s easy to look at someone who made an extremely tough call in the worst of situations and judge her.

That’s not our job, though. It’s incumbent upon us both as Americans who love our country and communities and children of God to take action against brokenness.

It’s amazing what can happen when we stand up and lend a helping hand.

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