On September 25, 2015 animal control picked Baily and Blaze up for safe keeping because their owner suffered a major heart attack. Safe keeping holds are normally 5 days. However their owner wanted them back more than anything and wasn’t doing well. The shelter held them for 20 days and made the decision to go ahead and sterilize them and place them up for adoption after receiving news that their owner wasn’t well and may not make it. Their owner called many times asking about them stating he was coming to get them. He loved them a lot but when he did get better he wasn’t in a position to get them back. He was getting back on his feet and finally on December 16, 2015 he came to see them for the first time in months and put a deposit down to get them back.
Melissa Eagle who was a kennel tech, event staff, and now transportation for animal control knew the whole story and helped take care of them at the holding facility and transported them to the shelter just so happened to be there to pick up a dog to go back to the shelter at the same time. She saw him with his dogs for the first time in months and how he was in awe and so were the dogs! He sat on the floor with them as they licked him and went crazy with joy. Come to find out to much surprise of all the staff they were very well trained too!
Seeing this and not knowing that the office manager at the shelter had reduced the adoption fee in more than half of original fee, Melissa went home and contacted some of the volunteers from the events to see if any would be willing to pitch in 5 -10 dollars toward his adoption fee to get it covered for him. One volunteer stepped up and said they would cover all of it for him. The rest of the volunteers continued to get things he would need.
Baily and Blaze’s owner was so determined to get them back at any cost. The staff of FSAC PetSmarts location had called and asked him to come down and get the paperwork started to get his dogs back. He didn’t know what was in store for him! After doing the paper work he was given his deposit back. Which is where the video starts. He couldn’t understand why he was getting his money back. He thought he wasn’t allowed to have them back. As Lindsay tried to explain everything to him he is in shock as she tells him that Melissa, who was there the day prior and watched him with his dogs was able to get his adoption fee covered by a volunteer and that other volunteers had donated dog food, toys, gift cards, treats, among other things yet to come. Melissa was on her way to PetSmart to meet him and give him the rest of the donations that he didn’t know he had during the video.
This man is a Veteran from Vietnam, a man who lost everything his health, dogs, and home who is rebuilding his life and was given a Christmas gift from many caring people he had never met. Now that the video went viral the willingness to keep the Christmas gift coming is overwhelming and we are working to make that possible for them to donate to help this Veteran get back up on his feet!