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Dog reunited with owner who had to give her up due to homelessness

A Tennessee animal center stepped in to help bring the dog back to her family.
/ Source: TODAY

After a Tennessee woman battling homelessness gave up her dog, Lilo, staff members at a Chattanooga animal shelter worked together to reunite the two. 

On Jan 24, the McKamey Animal Center uploaded a heartfelt post to Facebook explaining that a good Samaritan brought Lilo to the shelter after she was found wandering around Chattanooga with her leash. 

The center posted a picture of the sweet dog along with a photo of the note that was attached to her collar.

“My name is Lilo. Please love me,” the note said. “My mom can’t keep me and is homeless with 2 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.”

The note also asked whoever found Lilo to “please keep my name.”

In the post, the workers said they understood the difficult decision Lilo’s mom had to make, but they wished that she had visited McKamey Animal Center first. 

“We’re here to help and we want to see people and their pets stay together, no matter the circumstance,” the post said. 

The center later edited the post to include a message to Lilo’s owner. 

“We want you to know she is safe, and we will take the very best care of her,” the shelter said. “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.”

However, the staff members had an even better idea. They wanted to bring Lilo back to her original family. 

They wrote, “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.”

The team said they looked forward to hearing from Lilo’s owner either way and that they would assist her without judgment. 

Less than a day later, Lilo’s owner decided to accept the center’s offer.

On Jan. 25, the center revealed that the dog had been reunited with her owner. The update included an adorable photo of Lilo’s mom embracing her. 

“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 safe haven, shelter, and resources to stay together and tackle homelessness,” the post said.

The team then thanked all the people who liked and shared the initial post and sent sweet comments hoping Lilo would be reunited with family. 

In the replies, Facebook users applauded the shelter for supporting Lilo’s mom and understanding her struggles. 

“The way your animal center approached this situation was wonderful,” one person wrote. “I truly think your actions are what allowed this to end up as a happy story. Thank you for your kindness and understanding.”

Another said, “What a happy ending. So happy the family is getting proper help and can keep their pup with them.” 

In another update on Jan. 26, the shelter wrote they were "blown away" by the outpouring of support. They added they're working with other non-profits in the area to 'get her family the support they need to be reunited and find long-term solutions for their situation."