We’ve all seen it before: a homeless man or woman sleeping outside, maybe in front of a closed-down shop or underneath a bridge, maybe in a sleeping bag or tent if they’re lucky. But two years ago when employees from the newly built De Kalb County animal shelter in Chamblee, Georgia, saw a man sleeping on the sidewalk outside their front door with nothing but his clothes, they knew he must have had a reason to be there.
The shelter had just been moved into by staff and wasn’t even open to the public yet, but that didn’t stop a man from trying to find the one thing that kept his life together—his dog.
The story began when this homeless man lost his dog, a Chihuahua named Tita, in the Atlanta area. He began making the rounds of animal shelters there, desperately trying to find her. Finally, an employee from one of the shelters in the city was able to track her down based on his description and told the bereft owner that she had been taken to the new facility in Chamblee.
For someone with a car, this would have been a fairly easy 30-minute journey, but for a homeless man used to getting around on his own two feet, this would be an impossible journey. The Atlanta shelter employee kindly helped the man pay for an Uber car to get to the shelter, some 15 miles away, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
We're in! The staff here at LifeLine Animal Project's Dekalb County Animal Services has taken the pledge to make metro…
He arrived in the evening and didn’t budge from his spot in front of the door, staying right there to make sure he got to see his beloved Tita. When the staff arrived in the morning, employee Jarvis Smith went out to ask if he was alright and heard the story. The passion in his voice made Smith give him a chance. “Jarvis talked with him and felt like he should help,” as his colleague Tracy Hunton Thompson posted on Facebook.
As Annie Peart, the rescue coordinator at the shelter told Fox 5, he talked with the employees and convinced them with his perfect description of Tita and his moving words. “My dog is my life,” he told one of them. “Please, I need to have her.”
They brought Tita out and the rest was history. The dog immediately charged out and ran to her friend, jumping all over him and wagging her tail as fast as she could. Annie Peart told Fox 5, “we haven’t a reunion story this successful before, so I think everybody is really happy to see her go back to her dad.”
But the good folks at DeKalb Animal Services weren’t done yet. Jarvis Smith “gave the man the money to take the train,” according to his co-worker Thompson. They also helped set up the homeless man with a vet in Atlanta and gave him a special leash so he could keep Tita from getting lost again.
Positive comments about the man’s love for his dog and the shelter’s kind action flooded in on Tracy Hunton Thompson’s page. She responded by posting how proud she was of her friends and the people on the internet for recognizing how much the dog could mean to the man. “They all have a beating heart for those down on their luck. Love and compassion are alive in this crazy world!”
Never let a chance pass by the help someone. Our employees never do. Jarvis Smith found this young homeless man sleeping…