‘Please love me’ – heartbreaking note reunites dog with homeless family
When Lilo, a four-year-old dog, was found wandering the streets of Chattanooga, Tennessee, all she had was a leash, collar, and a heartbreaking note tied to her.
It read: “Please love me. My mum 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,” it continued. “Please don’t abuse me.”
Lilo, a German Shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix, found the care she needed at a local animal shelter last week.
But it was evident she was “really scared” and desperately missing her family, according to Lauren Mann, director of advancement at the McKamey Animal Center.
Ms Mann said the staff were so touched by the note, they decided to do everything in their powers to reunite Lilo and her family.
“We all cried reading the note,” Ms Mann told the Washington Post.
“We see a lot of sad stuff every single day, but it just really hit us all. The last line is gut-wrenching.”
The shelter began their search for Lilo’s family with a social media post on Jan 24 offering to “help in any way we can” without judgement.
Within a day, Lilo’s owner had been located and been to visit the shelter.
“There was not a dry eye in the room,” said Ms Mann, adding Lilo was ecstatic to be reunited with her owner.
The woman has not been identified to protect her privacy, but the shelter said they asked her specific questions in advance to verify she was Lilo’s owner.
“We had some private conversations, and she was very grateful,” Ms Mann said.
She added: “I told her: ‘you’re not alone. There are so many people out there that are dealing with homelessness right now. It’s an awful thing to have to go through but there are resources and people who care.’”
The owner and her two young children are in temporary accommodation that does not allow animals.
The animal shelter is working with a local housing provider for victims of domestic abuse to get the family relocated as soon as possible. Lilo will stay at the shelter in the interim.
“We’re doing everything we can to expedite the process,” said Ms Mann, who has previously worked at a domestic violence and sexual assault centre for women.
Lilo’s owner’s story, she said, made her “heart heavy”.
The shelter said it was “blown away at the outpouring of support” it received from those following Lilo’s story online.
In an update on its Facebook page, the shelter said: “We are working with some of the amazing non-profit agencies here in the Chattanooga area to get [Lilo’s] family the support they need to be reunited and find long-term solutions for their situation.”