Homeless Man Reunites With His Dog

He slept outside the shelter because he had hope
By Karen B. London PhD, March 2019, Updated June 2021

The reunion looks like so many happy endings. There’s a relieved human and a dog so filled with joyful exuberance that the entire body wags along with the tail. There’s a lot more to the story of this particular reunion, though.

This man is a homeless fellow who spent the very last of his money to take the bus to the shelter with the hope that his lost dog had been taken there. When an employee of the Dekalb County Animal Services came to work, the man was lying in front of the building after spending the night on the sidewalk. He was eager for the shelter to open so that he could learn whether or not they had his dog.

The dog had indeed been brought to the shelter as a presumed stray, but she had then been taken across town to a different facility. The shelter worker kindly paid for the man’s train ticket over there so that the two could be reunited. The shelter waived the usual fees so that the man could have his dog back despite his lack of funds.

Dekalb County Animal Services recently started a program to help homeless people in the area care for their pets. It’s wonderful that they are not judging people for being without a home or for losing a dog—both are things that can happen for so many reasons.

This recorded reunion was one of the really special ones, illustrating the value of dogs in our lives, no matter our circumstances.

Homeless People And Their Dogsscreen grab from Homeless Man Sleeps Outside Shelter Hoping To Reunite With His Lost Dog


Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life