Adoption centers are doing their best to take good care of abandoned pets. But some are happy to see the pets with their beloved families.
An adoption center in Tennessee tracked down the owner of an abandoned dog who had left a heartbreaking message explaining she could not afford to care for her pet.
Lilo was found wandering the streets of Chattanooga with a letter attached to her collar, and the good Samaritan took her to the McKamey Animal Center, per WCVB.
The letter read: “My name is Lilo. Please love me. 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 and love to be loved on. Please don’t abuse me.”
McKamey Animal Center of Chattanooga shared Lilo’s story on its Facebook page, hoping to reunite her with her family.
While they promised to take care of Lilo, they went above and beyond by making her owner an offer.
“We want you to know she is safe, and we will take the very best care of her,” the post reads. “She will be loved by our staff and volunteers, we will keep her name, and we promise you we will do our best to find her a wonderful new home.”
“But if you are reading this, we hope you will come forward to reclaim her. We will help you with whatever you need to care for her to the best of our ability. Lilo definitely misses you, and we would like nothing more than to see her go back to the family she loves. Either way, please know that we understand, we will not judge, and we are here to help in any way we can,” the post continued.
“Please know that we understand, we will not judge, and we are here to help in any way we can,” the post concludes.
The post got over 6,000 reactions, over a thousand comments, and more than 3000 shares.
Finally, the family was reunited with the public’s help, and the shelter shared a photo of the two of them and said they would do what they could to keep the family together.
“While we can’t share a lot of the details with you yet, we are actively working with the family to set them up with a haven, shelter, and resources to stay together and tackle homelessness,” shelter staff wrote.
The shelter thanked everyone who helped them and shared the post.
“We are amazed at the outpouring of support,” said the shelter staff.
Followers of Lilo’s story on social media were thrilled by the adoption center’s efforts to support the family and its display of “love and compassion.”
Many who read Lilo’s story were eager to help her owner by providing food for several months, while others also wanted to help her owner care for her children.
A 2018 study found that over 28% of pet-owning families faced challenges accessing veterinary treatment, with cost being the primary factor in most cases.
In low-income households, the risks of animals not receiving the care they need are higher due to financial and housing insecurity.
Sociologist Arnold Arluke, who wrote Underdogs: Pets, People, and Poverty says that 66 percent of pets that live with poor people have never been to a vet.
Most veterinarians work in clinics that are run for profit. Industry consolidation has made profit margins more critical, and veterinary care costs have increased faster than inflation.
Prices for checkups start at $50; dental cleanings cost between $70 and $400, and diagnostic tests, including blood work and x-rays, cost between $80 and $250.
Surgery for a dog can cost upwards of a thousand dollars if they break a leg or choke on a piece of clothing, according to Talk Poverty.
Meanwhile, while the doors of adoption centers are always open to caring for abandoned pets, they most often go over their capacities.
McKamey Animal Center’s website shared ways to help adoption centers ensure that our fur friends are in good care.
Donate. Donations help the shelters provide for the animals’ needs, from food to critical medical care.
Adopt. Instead of buying pets from breeders, it is better to adopt pets from shelters. Adopting is cheaper than buying, and shelters will help you prepare before taking home a new family member. Moreover, adoption centers sometimes waive adoption fees!
Spay and Neuter Your Pets. These procedures could be pricey, but they will save you and the adoption centers if you keep your pets from having unplanned puppies or kittens.
Foster. If you can’t adopt, you can foster a pet that you can keep for a little while.
Volunteer. Shelters need some hands to help their staff. If you love pets but cannot adopt or foster one, volunteering is an excellent option to enjoy the company of a fur friend.
Meanwhile, in honor of Lilo and her family, the McKamey Animal Center established a fund to keep families from being separated from their beloved pets.
According to the shelter, the MAC Cares Funds will help pet owners and their pets stay together in times of hardship by providing food, supplies, veterinary care, temporary boarding for animals, and even housing deposits.
Watch the video below.