Late last week a group of animal advocates and friends came together to help a homeless stranger find his way home with his 11 dogs. The story began on Thursday in West Memphis, Arkansas as a 50-year-old man was spotted traveling through town on a bicycle with 11 dogs in tow; one of which was a mother dog who had recently given birth to puppies. Tragically, the man’s wagon used to tow the dogs behind his bicycle, had been worn down; his pockets were empty, and the man, who was obviously down on his luck, had little money. He had been biking from California to Indiana to join his friend and had peddled almost 2,000 miles; never once regretting that his dogs had been his top priority.
And then the help began. A good Samaritan posted photos on Facebook of the man and his dogs’ plight. Offers to help began to flood in; a stranger and his beloved pets were to find a group of kindhearted and generous animal lovers and advocates.
Mickey Edrington: “My daughter stopped and talked with him; said he came from California. A friend of mine said she saw him last week coming thru Little Rock so believe that to be truth. He said he is headed to Indiana to be with his lady girl friend I guess…”
Although there have been a few people who believe the man should have surrendered the dogs to a shelter, most advocates credited him for his incredible loyalty to his dogs. Each dog had been a stray, and now they are his entire life. He has agreed to allow people to help him have all of the dogs vaccinated, get them spayed and neutered, and on heart worm and flea prevention. Rescuers have donated food, clothing, cages, leashes, a phone for the man to stay in touch and tires for his bicycle and trailer. For the past two nights, the man and his dogs have enjoyed sleeping in a motel; all paid for by the generous strangers who have pitched in to help someone and his pets in dire need.
For any doubters, Edmington had this to say. “I have spent the last 2 days with this man on and off and anyone on this thread can tell you that I wouldn’t put a dog at risk. This is this man’s family… once were strays and had no food or shelter. They now have a man who spent his last few dollars for their food. When the day is hot, he pulls over to shade. If he touches the payment and can’t keep his hand on it to the count of 10 them, they don’t touch it at all. This man had bartered a five dollar bill for a newer bike, he has slept in conditions we truly wouldn’t be if it wasn’t safer for the dogs. He has fought off teenagers trying to take his dogs.”
On Sunday, a rescue volunteer was to be packing up the dogs and their supplies; everyone was being driven to Austin, Indiana. A Facebook page to follow this amazing adventure is planned for the near future. Many thanks to everyone who have helped along the way. Until then, catch the entire rescue story with more photos on Facebook by clicking here.
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