Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Broke Our Hearts': Strangers Help Dog and Owner Reunite After Family Member Secretly Dumps Dog


On Feb. 27, a local in Monee, Illinois, came across a sad sight: A dog was tied up outside a Burger King, a note attached to his collar.

“Hi I’m King,” the note read. “I’m a good Boy … Love to Hug & Kiss … Birthday July 22 – 2018.”

With times as difficult as they have been, finding abandoned animals is nothing new — but though this case looked like just another animal abandonment, it turned out to be something more complicated.

The Monee Police shared photos of King and his story, hoping someone might know his owners or be interested in the very good boy.

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“Tonight we had a citizen find this sweet doggy with this note attached to its collar,” they shared on Feb 27. “Broke our hearts. If you know where he lives please contact the PD or if you’re interested in adopting him he will be available at South Suburban Humane Society. He really does love to hug and kiss you too!!!”

Unbeknownst to everyone, King’s former owner was struggling with some serious health issues and had entrusted King’s care to family. But at some point, a family member had had enough and left King outside that restaurant with the note.

King was being held at South Suburban Humane Society, and when his owner realized what happened, she went to the shelter to explain.

“Yesterday, his pet parent came to the shelter to tell us what had happened,” the shelter posted on March 1. “After suffering a major medical event, she had moved in with family and has been trying to get back on her feet. Her family member abandoned King without her knowledge and she is devastated.

“She brought all of his food, toys, treats, and we had a tearful conversation together. She wants to try and find a new place to live to keep her extremely well taken care of dog that she deeply loves. So one of our amazing staff members agreed to foster King at her house for a month so we can hopefully make a reunion happen.”

A GoFundMe was also started for the pair in an attempt to help them be reunited even sooner.

“Hi everyone! My name is King,” the fundraiser page read. “By now a lot of you have seen my story on the news or social media outlets. I need some help to get reunited with my parent. Last year my parent was injured at work and they are currently unable to work due to Post Concussion Syndrome. This syndrome makes them sensitive to light and sound, dizzy upon standing or bending, daily migraines and anxiety. We were forced to move in with family because of money issues and unfortunately now we’re separated.”

Within days, the page had raised over $6,000 to help dog and owner reunite, and by March 6 they were together again.

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“We would like to thank EVERYONE who has donated to Ms. Cruz and King!” an update on the GoFundMe read. “They were reunited today (03/06/2023)! She has found a landlord who is willing to work with her. They have found temporary housing with a loved one that she trusts. We are truly grateful to live in such a caring and compassionate community. We grew up here and this weekend we learned it truly does take a village! All the kind words, advice and donations has brought tears to our eyes and has restored our faith in humanity. Thank you will never be enough but we can’t say it enough, THANK YOU!!”

The shelter also shared a video of the reunion, which shows King elated to be back with his person — a reunion made possible thanks to lots of generous, caring people who understand the bond between dog and owner.

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