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Dog found wandering with heartbreaking note reunited with owner

The shelter not only helped reunite Lilo with her family, they're working to make sure the family has a safe haven and the resources to stay together.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — An animal shelter in Tennessee has reunited a woman experiencing homelessness and her dog, and after their story received support from thousands of people online, the shelter is working to help them stay together. 

The McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tenn., shared in a Jan. 24 Facebook post that someone found a dog with a note in her collar and a leash still attached.

"Please keep my name. My name is Lilo. Please love me," the handwritten note 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 Tennessee shelter shared the abandoned dog's story on its Facebook page on Tuesday in hopes of finding the owner. In a post titled "A Note to Lilo's Mom," they pleaded for people not to abandon their animals and included information and resources for those unable to care for their pets. It garnered more than 5,000 likes and 3,000 shares.

Credit: McKamey Animal Center
A Tennessee animal shelter shared a note found with an abandoned dog in hopes of finding the owner.

By Wednesday, the shelter revealed that Lilo's owner had been found. The post was accompanied by a picture of Lilo and her owner in a tight embrace. 

Credit: McKamey Animal Center
A Tennessee animal shelter helped reunite a dog with their owner, who thought she had to give up the pet because the family was experiencing homelessness.

"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 read. "It truly takes a community, and you all have certainly shown us how powerful ours is - thank you so much."

We are truly blown away at the outpouring of support we have received in honor of Lilo and her story! We are working...

Posted by McKamey Animal Center on Thursday, January 26, 2023

On Thursday, the shelter announced that it is working with local nonprofits to provide assistance to Lilo and her owner. As a result of the support Lilo's story received, the shelter launched the MAC Cares Fund, which is dedicated "to preventing as many families as possible from being separated from their loved ones."

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