Taking in stray dogs isn’t a rare occurrence for animal shelters, but one pup named Lilo surprised everyone by arriving with a handwritten note.
According to Lauren Mann, the director of McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, they had received a call from a good samaritan who told them that there was a large pup running around the area and that they were attached to a leash. They immediately sent out their animal protection team who successfully picked up the dog.
When they put her in the vehicle, however, they noticed a note attached to her collar. Upon opening the piece of paper, they discovered that the dog belonged to a homeless mother of two and that despite her best efforts to take care of the pup, it simply cost her too much. Without any other option, she was forced to abandon the dog. The owner ended the note with a heartbreaking plea, “please don’t abuse [her].”
Mann told media outlets that “it was one of the saddest things” she’s ever come across and that the last line especially hit everyone hard. She also stated that while shelters are willing to take in animals in need, they’d much rather owners keep their pets and to make that happen, they’re willing to do anything.
Fortunately for Lilo, the note that she came with gave the staff some hints about her family.
The animal shelter eventually posted Lilo’s story on social media, hoping to connect her with her owner. A day after posting the TikTok video, they received a call that stated that they were the pup’s mom.
According to Mann, it was obvious by the things that she shared with her that she was Lilo’s mom so they asked her to come to the shelter to verify her identity.
As soon as Lilo entered the room, it was obvious that she was her family. They had a wonderful reunion and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The mother’s young kids were also excited to be reunited with their dog.
While most animal centers provide shelter for pups, many of them, such as McKamey, also provide families with resources such as food and supplies to those who are struggling to pay for their pup’s needs. Not only that but they’re also willing to help individuals find pet-friendly housing.
In the end, Mann and her staff were able to help the mother of two find a pet-friendly shelter with the help of some local agencies. She also stated that they have a fund called the MAC Cares fund, which helps keep pets and their owners together by providing food, supplies, and resources.
At the end of the day, their goal is to keep pups like Lilo happy with their own families.