Your local animal shelter is probably really good at finding homes for homeless pets, but it’s rare that they have to find a home for a human being.
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Kris Robinson is the Interim Shelter Director at the Senatobia-Tate County Animal Shelter in Mississippi. She was sitting in the office one day when a teenager came in with his puppy, a 4 or 5-month-old shepherd-Rottweiler mix named Jada. With tears in his eyes, the 17-year-old asked if he could leave his dog with her.
When Kris told the young man that the shelter was full, he confessed that he could no longer care for Jada because he is currently homeless.
“And he said, ‘Well, I can’t take care of her anymore. I live under a bridge,’ and it broke my heart,” Kris recalled, wiping away fresh tears at the memory. “For this young man to just be 17 and down on his luck, and no matter what problems he’s facing, he still took the time to walk her over her and make sure somebody was going to take care of her, I think that says a lot about his character.”
Kris shared a photo of Jada lying in the shelter lobby next to a trash bag full of food that the teen had left for her.
This is where she layed after her owner surrendered her today with her plastic bag of dog food and a blanket. She is devastated. I can’t be mad at her owner though. He is 17, says he lives under a bridge in Tate county. He WALKED her all the way to the shelter and asked us to please take her because he can’t afford to keep her. She’s about 4 mos old and she kept herself pinned to his legs while he was here. We are full but how could we not take her in.Kris Robinson
Kris made space for Jada, and by the end of the day thousands of people had reached out about adopting Jada. Still more wondered what they could do to help her young owner.
“We’re a shelter, so we’re concerned about the dog,” she said. “But ultimately we were concerned about him and him getting off the street and getting some help”.
She sent the information the teen had written on the surrender form to local authorities, who were able to track him down.
The teen was reunited with Jada the very next day, and authorities were able to find them both a place to stay – together.
“He’s able to go someone’s house and be with them for a while, while he gets his life back on track,” said Kris.
Since there are no designated homeless shelters in Senatobia, churches often offer assistance. The First United Methodist Church in Senatobia is collecting donations to assist the family who has taken the teen and his dog in.
As difficult as it may be to ask for help, we’re so glad this young man sought assistance before something awful happened! Thank you to Kris for being the conduit to better days for both Jada and her human!
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