By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
Whenever I’m on the eastside of midtown Manhattan, I see a woman with a shopping cart that is loaded with all of her possessions, and nestled among the clothes is her cat. In New York, I see homeless men with dogs by their sides. Every time, I pass these people, my heart aches.
I’ve handed them some change every once in a while. Yet, I am at a loss at what to do for them. The same thing happened to Mark Arnold, ceo of Critter Alert Center.
“A few of months ago,” he explains “as I was walking into a convenience store I noticed a man and his dog standing at the store corner, presumably to be in the shade. As I approached the man, he mustered up a smile and I asked what his dog’s name was. He introduced Rusty to me, who surprisingly put out his paw to shake my hand when I leaned in to pet him. I thanked him on teaching Rusty this trick as it seemed to break the ice.”
“He told me Rusty was a rescue and obviously a mixed breed. The two of them have been together for six years and when he lost his job as a banker two years ago, his wife left him and he lost his home. He just could not find work once he went to the streets because of his appearance, yet he did manage to do some yard work from time to time and any other handyman stuff he could find.”
“As we chatted, he never once asked anything of me. I pulled out a $20 and said to please go inside and get whatever he wanted while I watched Rusty for him. A few minutes later, he came out with several cans of dog food, a pre-made sandwich and few bottles of water. It was clear he spent more money on his pet than he did on himself. He then put his hand out to give me the leftover money. I politely told him to keep it and spend it wisely. As I was leaving, he put his hand out and I shook it. Almost instantaneously, Rusty did the same.”
Mark never forgot meeting this man and Rusty. He has looked for them from time to time, but has not had any luck finding them. So in order to help those in need, Mark’s company, Critter Alert Center is donating a portion of its registrations to Pets of the Homeless.
Critter Alert Center (CAC) focuses on recovering missing pets. Their goal is to expedite the recovery process so the owner and pet are reunited as soon as possible. Critter Alert Center believes leveraging today’s technology (internet, social media outlets, and wireless communications) is the best way to distribute a missing pet’s information.
“The donations from CAC will enable Pets of the Homeless to provide veterinary care to many pets owned by the homeless that would otherwise go untreated,” says Genevieve Frederick, executive director of Pets of the Homeless. “With the added exposure that Pets of the Homeless will receive from CAC our mission will spread.”
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