Lifestyle & Human Interest

Heartbroken Homeless Man Forced To Give Up Dog, Stranger Steps In When He Needs It Most


Dogs end up in shelters for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they turn out differently than their owners expected them to, they develop bad habits their owners aren’t willing to help iron out, or their owners are simply in a tight spot and can’t provide for them any longer.

Shelters, like hospitals, can be scary places. With so many dogs going in and out, stress levels are high and dogs are exposed to a variety of illnesses and parasites. Even the nicest, cleanest shelters can still be too loud for some dogs to really settle in and shine.

The best situation for an adoptable dog is in a foster home where it can be cared for, loved and included in family activities, and where its foster parents can become knowledgeable advocates for their furry charge.

According to Russell Cote from Hazlet, New Jersey, fostering dogs is a rewarding experience that every able person should participate in.

“All it takes is a big heart and a small room,” he told the Asbury Park Press as a squeaky toy screeched in the background.

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“Not much. Everything’s taken care of, just know that there are dogs that need a room for a little while until they find their forever home. And it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. It doesn’t take much.”

Cote and his family have recently taken in a senior dachshund, whose loving owner, Rich Mickey, was in dire straits and needed a helping hand. At the beginning of December, Mickey became homeless.

He found help in the form of a place to stay, but unfortunately, that place did not allow dogs. Jersey, his dachshund, had been his companion for over a decade.

“Jersey is such a good dog,” the owner said. “He’s been my rock this whole time.”

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Fortunately for both Mickey and Jersey, Mickey had the clarity to seek help from a breed-specific organization in Florida called “Dollar for Doxies.” Their website states that they are a donation-based charity.

“Dollar for Doxies. Inc is a solely based volunteer organization except for the certified accountant, bookkeeper and lawyer,” their page reads. “Donations are raised by raffles, live & internet auctions, recurring pledges, financial transfers, etc. Our recurring monthly donations are at approx. $2,000.”

“All money donated gets accrued in to (sic)our Emergency/Daily/Monthly fund to help dachshunds in need. Dollar for Doxies Inc is proud to say we have already raised over $145,000.00 in donations this year.”

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While this unique community often helps other dachshund owners in emergency health situations pay bills, they managed to connect Mickey with Cote, who was happy to provide a safe haven for Jersey — a much better alternative for both man and dog than surrendering to a shelter.

“As soon as I heard about it,” Cote said, “my immediate answer was yes. I’ve been fostering dogs for 10 years. It’s part of who we are.”

“These people are unbelievable,” Mickey said. “It was really emotional, giving up Jersey, but I knew he would be well taken care of.”

Cote hopes that Mickey and Jersey will be reunited sometime in the spring, but for now, everyone is content knowing that Jersey is being loved and cared for, and will be ready to go back to Mickey when the time is right.

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