When employees of the McKamey Animal Shelter came upon a stray dog named Lilo, they could tell she had been well cared for. And that’s what made the note she came with so much more heartbreaking.
“Please love me,” the note read, in part. “My mom can't keep me and is homeless with two kids. She tried her best but can't get help - I cost too much for her. She really loves me and I'm a great dog.”
“It is one of the saddest things I've ever read,” the shelter’s director of advancement Lauren Mann told CBS News. “The last line is really hit us all here, is: 'Please don't abuse me.' When you looked at Lilo, you could tell right away that she was very well cared for and definitely loved. That was definitely the truth.”
Mann said they knew the best place for Lilo was with her family, regardless of the financial constraints, so they posted on social media, including creating a video about her for TikTok. Soon, they got a lead.
“A shelter is not the same as a home so at the end of the day, we'd rather you keep your pet. And we're able to do anything we can to make sure that happens,” Mann said, and about 24 hours after their video went live, they got a call from someone claiming to be Lilo’s mom.
“Right away, just based off some of the things they shared with me – that only that person would know – it was pretty clear that it was her mom, so we asked her to come down to verify identity,” Mann said.
It all led to “wonderful reunion” for Lilo.
“It was very clear when Lilo entered the room that that was her family,” Mann said. “Everyone was extremely happy, there was not a dry eye in the room. The kids were also just as excited, and emotional as everyone else.”
And now, the shelter is helping Lilo’s family get the resources they need to care for their furry companion.
“For this family, we were working with some local agencies in town to help them find pet-friendly shelter,” Mann said. “With other families, we've recently established a new fund called the MAC Cares fund, where we will be able to help families, whether that's paying for a pet deposit at an apartment complex ...
providing food, resources, anything like that to try to keep them together.”