A four year old German Shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix is back with their loving owner after going missing (announced via Facebook.)
Lilo was found wandering the streets and was brought to the center by a good Samaritan. She had a note attached to her collar when she arrived stating, "Please keep my name. My name is Lilo. Please love me. My mom can't keep me and is homeless with 2 kids," the note began. "She tried her best but can't get help. I cost too much for her. She really loves me & I'm a great dog & love to be loved on. Please don't abuse me."
Lauren Mann, the Director of Advancement at McKamey Animal Center, said "It really hit us all, especially that last line of 'Please don't abuse me,' so we decided that we were going to take to social media and hopefully through the power of Facebook and everyone that's out there, we would hope that we could find her."
Within 24 hours, Lilo's mom was found. "We got a phone call from someone that was claiming to be her mom," Mann explained. "I called them back and asked them questions and right away, it was very clear that it definitely was her just based off some of the things that were shared with me. And so we had her come in to just verify identity and we let them see each other of course, and that's when that next photo got taken and shared."
"The initial ask was just, if you were her mom, to come forward, that we wanted to reunite Lilo with her family. It's very clear just by looking at Lilo that she was very well loved and cared for," Mann said. "The times are tough and people just need kindness more than anything right now. And so we were just hoping that she would come forward."
Now that the family is reunited with Lilo, the center is working to help provide for her needs. "We are working with some different partnering agencies in town and different nonprofits now, to try and get them set up into a pet-friendly shelter and get them back on their feet and just overcome the homelessness that they're experiencing," Mann said.
Additionally, a fund has been set up to assist others with similar needs caring for their pets, called the MAC Cares Fund. "Homelessness can happen to anyone and there's a lot of stigma and assumptions that come with cases like these, but you really never know who you're going to encounter and what they're dealing with," Mann said.
"If you're a pet owner that is experiencing hardship and needs assistance with your pet, reach out to your local animal shelter and see what they can do and what they can offer to help you," Mann added. "We're not the only shelter in town or even in the country that offers pet food pantries and assistance with programs."
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