An animal shelter in Tennessee has reunited a woman with her beloved Lilo after the dog was found with a note on her collar from the mother of two revealing she was homeless and could no longer take care of her.
The heartwarming story begins with a social media post from the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga revealing that someone had found Lilo “wandering with her leash still attached,” at which point she was brought to the shelter. The handwritten note on her collar provided some insight as to how Lilo ended up in this situation, only adding to the power of her eventual reunion with her owner.
“Please love me,” the note, pictured below, read. “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 shelter added that they would help the woman “with whatever you need,” urging her to please reach out. In a series of updates shared after the initial announcement started gaining traction on social media and beyond, the shelter first confirmed they had made contact with the woman, then later shared a photo of her being reunited with Lilo. At the time, the shelter said it was “actively working” toward setting up the woman and her family “with a safe haven, shelter, and resources to stay together and tackle homelessness.”
The latest update, shared last week, included word that the shelter was working with a number of regional nonprofits to help the woman and her family. Additionally, the shelter announced the launch of a new fund aimed at others who may find themselves in similarly challenging times.
Reflecting on the experience in a recent interview with local outlet WKRN, Lauren Mann—who serves as Director of Advancement at the shelter—expressed gratitude for the groundswell of support they’ve received since taking Lilo’s story public.
“We were really hoping through the power of social media that we could find them, and we’re so thankful that we did,” she said.
Complex has reached out to the McKamey Animal Center for additional comment. This story may be updated.