A dog left behind with a heart-wrenching message was reunited with his owner who is homeless

Animal shelters are working hard to ensure that abandoned pets receive proper care. However, reuniting pets with their loving families is a cause for celebration.

In Tennessee, an animal shelter went to great lengths to find the owner of a stray dog that was left with a touching note detailing the owner’s inability to care for their pet.

Lilo, the dog, was discovered wandering the streets of Chattanooga with a note attached to her collar, and a kind-hearted individual brought her to the McKamey Animal Center, according to WCVB.

Logo of McKamey Animal Center, one of adoption centers in Tennessee

The note found on Lilo’s collar read, “My name is Lilo. Please love me. My mom can’t afford me and is homeless with two kids. She tried her best but couldn’t do it. I love her so much, and I’m a great dog. I love to play. Please don’t let me go to the shelter. The dog in the shelter hate it. Please love me and take care of me.”

McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga posted about Lilo on their Facebook page in the hopes of reuniting her with her family. Although they promised to look after Lilo, they went above and beyond by extending an offer to her owner.

Letter from Lilo's collar.

“We want to assure you that Lilo is in good hands and will receive the best care possible,” the post reads. “Our team and volunteers will provide her with love and affection, and we will retain her name while we do our best to find her a wonderful new home.”

“However, if you happen to come across this message, we encourage you to come forward and claim Lilo. We will provide you with the necessary assistance and support to take care of her to the best of our abilities. Lilo misses you dearly, and we would be thrilled to see her reunited with her beloved family. Nevertheless, we also want to let you know that we understand your situation, and we are here to help in any way we can,” the post continued.

“In summary, we would like you to know that we support you and we will not judge you. Our main goal is to assist you in any way possible,” the post concludes.

Adoption centers staff post with photos of Lilo and her letter

The post received more than 6,000 reactions, over a thousand comments, and more than 3000 shares.

Thanks to the public’s help, the family was eventually reunited, and the shelter shared a photo of them, promising to do everything possible to keep them together.

“While we cannot reveal many details at this time, we are actively collaborating with the family to provide them with a safe haven, shelter, and resources to address their homelessness,” the shelter staff stated.

The shelter expressed gratitude to everyone who assisted them and shared the post.

Lilo and her owner reunited.

According to the shelter staff, the support shown for Lilo’s story was amazing. People who followed Lilo’s story on social media were delighted by the adoption center’s display of “love and compassion” and efforts to support the family.

Upon reading Lilo’s story, many people were willing to help by providing food for several months, and others also wanted to assist the family in caring for their children.

A 2018 survey revealed that more than 28% of pet-owning households had trouble accessing veterinary care, with cost being the primary factor in most cases. In low-income households, the likelihood of pets not receiving the necessary care is higher due to financial and housing insecurity.

Sociologist Arnold Arluke, the author of “Underdogs: Pets, People, and Poverty,” claims that 66% of pets that live with impoverished people have never been to a veterinarian.

Most veterinarians operate in profit-driven clinics. Industry consolidation has made profit margins more critical, and veterinary care expenses have increased faster than inflation.

Checkups may cost $50 or more, dental cleanings range from $70 to $400, and diagnostic exams, including blood work and x-rays, cost between $80 and $250. According to Talk Poverty, surgery for a dog can cost over a thousand dollars if they break a leg or choke on an object.

Sad Lilo missing her owner.

Meanwhile, while the doors of animal shelters are always open to caring for abandoned pets, they most often surpass their capacities.

McKamey Animal Center’s website shared ways to help animal shelters ensure that our furry friends are in good care.

Contribute. Contributions help the shelters provide for the animals’ needs, from food to critical medical care.

Adopt. Instead of purchasing pets from breeders, it is better to adopt pets from shelters. Adopting is less expensive than buying, and shelters will help you prepare before taking home a new family member. Moreover, animal shelters sometimes waive adoption fees!

Spay and Neuter Your Pets. These procedures could be expensive, but they will save you and the animal shelters if you keep your pets from having unintended litters of puppies or kittens.

Lilo posing a smile after being reunited with her mom at through adoption centers effort.

Fostering a pet is a great option if you are unable to adopt, as you can provide a temporary home for an animal. If you love pets but cannot commit to fostering or adopting, volunteering at a shelter is a wonderful way to spend time with animals and assist shelter staff.

Additionally, the McKamey Animal Center has established the MAC Cares Fund to prevent families from being separated from their pets during times of hardship. This fund will provide assistance such as food, supplies, veterinary care, temporary boarding, and housing deposits. You can watch the video below.

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