When winter storms went through Fayetteville North Carolina in early January, the Fayetteville Animal Protection Society discovered something other than snow on their doorstep - a kennel full of five tiny puppies.
There was no mama dog with the puppies, but there was a note which proves there is goodness in the world, even under the worst circumstances.
The Facebook post included the note left with the seven-week-old puppies, and it says, "Please help! I found these puppies sadly after noticing a local stray dog that I would often feed when I could, dead by the road. She had been hit by a car. I knew from feeding her that she had puppies somewhere and after searching where I would usually see her I found them. I'm sorry for leaving them like this but I myself am homeless and cannot afford to care for them. My heart shatters for them and their mother. I just want them to be given the chance their mother like myself, was never given. Please do not think poorly of me but it felt wrong leaving them alone in the cold waiting on a mother that would not be coming home. Sincerely, nameless man."
The shelter explains that all the puppies are doing well, and "While they're too young for adoption now, our dedicated team is ensuring they receive vaccinations, deworming, microchipping, and future spay/neuter appointments."
Jackie Peery, the animal shelter’s executive director, explained to WBRC that they are also trying to find out who the homeless man is so they can get him help as well, but they haven't been able to locate him yet.
How The Homeless Crisis Also Affects Pets
Homelessness shot up by more than 12% this year, reaching 653,104 people. The numbers represent the sharpest increase and largest unhoused population since the federal government began tallying totals in 2007 according to USA Today.
The ASPCA explains that in 2019, it was estimated that 12% of unsheltered homeless adults owned pets. According to a study conducted two years prior, 48% of unhoused pet-owning individuals reported being turned away from a shelter because of pet policies. Many unhoused persons won't enter a shelter or another facility if they have to give up their beloved pet.
Websites like Pets Of The Homeless provide resources for people struggling with homelessness like offering wellness clinics, emergency care and resources for pet friendly shelters. The Humane Society also offers a resource page.
If you know someone suffering homelessness, besides offering them assistance, you can also offer to help with their pet. You can offer to provide a temporary foster home for their pet while they get the help they need. You can offer to pay for updated vaccinations or other veterinary bills so that the animal will be welcome at existing pet-friendly facilities and a veterinary bill won't be another cost weighing on someone who doesn't have a place to live.
The story above does have a happy ending, which would be made even better if the man who rescued the puppies got the help he needs and deserves too. Let's hope that happens.
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