Humane Society joins in effort to reunite homeless woman with her best friend


A woman, once homeless, is reunited with her dog, Lady Bug. Submitted photo.

When a Monroe County woman became homeless, she wondered what would happen to her best friend. When the weather was getting colder last fall, the woman refused to enter the homeless shelters because she was afraid to lose her dog, a small Pomeranian named Lady Bug. When a local pastor brought her story to a meeting of the Monroe County Homeless Coalition (MCHC), a series of events began in order to find a home for the woman and her canine companion.

A family member of the homeless woman offered to house Lady Bug while she moved into a transitional housing program, but the family member was only able to house the dog for a short time. The coalition searched for more foster homes, but due to Lady Bug’s trauma from originally being rescued from Hurricane Katrina, she proved a tough fit. With nowhere to go, the MCHC turned to the Lenawee County Humane Society (LCHS) for help.

Sasha Wilkerson, communications manager at the LCHS, said the MCHC was having a difficult time trying to help the woman and her dog at the same time. “It’s one of the big issues with people losing their homes,” Wilkerson said. “People tend to stay in these situations because they don’t want to give up their pets, and that has to change. We figure if we can help with their pets, maybe they can take the steps to get out of that situation.”

The LCHS agreed to board Lady Bug and update her vaccinations, which had not been given to her in some time. A Monroe United Way representative offset the costs of caring for Lady Bug, while the woman donated whatever she could during her search for housing to the shelter so Lady Bug would be taken care of. “Even though she had nothing, every time she got even five dollars she would send it to us to help take care of Lady Bug,” Wilkerson said. “She thought she owed us, but she didn’t. Her heart was there.”

Two months after Lady Bug arrived at the humane society, the woman finally found a home; an apartment complex filled with furniture donated by Project Second Chance Monroe. Marcie Cornell, executive director of the LCHS, hand-delivered Lady Bug to the woman, where there was a happy and tearful reunion. “The thing we love about this story is it’s not just a humane society issue or a Monroe County issue,” Wilkerson said. “It’s an issue all over, and we were able to team up to make this happen.”

The LCHS is considering applying for funding to create a program for homeless individuals in Lenawee County who don’t want to give up their pets. “We want to make this a permanent part of who we are,” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson said she is grateful for the opportunity to help. She hopes in the future the LCHS can provide help to not just animals, but humans who need them.

“It’s just awesome seeing the humane society come from a place like this,” Wilkerson said. “We were once asking people to help us, and now we’re in a position where we can reach out and help other people.”


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