A new viral video shows the touching moment a veteran learns that he will get to get his dogs back after spending months in the hospital.
On September 25, 2015, First State Animal Center and SPCA in Camden, Delaware, picked up two dogs, Blaze and Bailey, for safekeeping after their owner, only identified as James, suffered a major heart attack. While animal control will normally keep the dogs for five days, they made an exception for the vet because he was determined to get them back, and kept them f0r 20 days. However, after weeks had gone by, James’ family informed them that his condition wasn’t looking good and they feared he wouldn’t make it. Therefore, the shelter made the decision to sterilize them and place them up for adoption.
Although both Bailey and Blaze were both healthy, friendly, and cute, they were somehow overlooked, and were never adopted. When the veeran heard that his dogs were still available for adoption, he visited the shelter located inside a PetSmart. When he arrived, the dogs were beyond excited to see him. However, he wasn’t able to take them home just yet. James still had to find a way to come up with the $250 in adoption fees, even if that meant selling his only means of transportation.
This veteran was willing to sell his car to get the $250 needed to get his ‘family’ back after hospitalization https://t.co/OmnwUivdIO
— Sandy (@RightGlockMom) December 19, 2015
“The dogs couldn’t contain their excitement. They greeted him with massive kisses and wagging tails,” adoption counselor Lindsay Carrothers said, according to the Huffington Post.“This man was willing to sell his car to get the money.”
Melissa Eagle, who was the kennel tech and is now transportation for animal control, witnessed the man with his dogs for the first time in months, and knew she had to do something to help him get them back. When she went home that night, she contacted some of the volunteers to see if they were able to donate $5 to $10 to help the man out. One volunteer stepped up and said they would cover the entire adoption cost, while the others said they would pitch in for the items he needed for the dogs.
The staff at the FSAC PetSmart location contacted the veteran and told him to come down to the store to start the paperwork for the adoption. When he arrived, he had no idea what the staff had planned. This is where the video, which has been viewed more than two million times, starts. Grab a tissue and watch it below.
“He was so thankful he shot a kiss to God for the blessing,” Carrothers said.
Carrothers said she was proud of how everyone came together to help James get his dogs back, reuniting a family just in time for Christmas.
“It had everyone in tears,” she said. “You could just feel the love those dogs had for him. And there shouldn’t have been anything, especially money. that should’ve stood in his way to getting his family back.”
A GoFundMe page has been created to continue helping the veteran get back on his feet. The fundraising page has raised nearly $2,000 of the $5,000 goal in just 19 hours.
“This man is a Veteran from Vietnam, a man who lost everything his health, dogs, and home who is rebuilding his life and was given a Christmas gift from many caring people he had never met. Now that the video went viral the willingness to keep the Christmas gift coming is overwhelming and we are working to make that possible for them to donate to help this Veteran get back up on his feet!”
[Photo via GoFundMe/Baily & Blaze Reunited with James]