It is rare that we come right out and ask for your help, but today we’ll make an exception for a well known dog in need.
Given the fact that so many of you are involved in rescue, it goes without saying that we know you’re already doing what you can to help animals, and with so many crossposters spreading news of unwanted dogs on Facebook, anyone can find cases to help with or contribute to on a daily basis: you don’t need us badgering you with regular calls to action.
That said, a dog sits on death row this morning at the Miami-Dade County Animal Services shelter in Medley, Florida, and unless arrangements for a new home are made by the end of this month, the shelter says he’ll be euthanized. Given his background, we think he deserves a chance at happiness.
The dog in question is “Chocolate”, a panhandling pooch from Florida who has enjoyed internet fame for years thanks to a cute and clever trick: Chocolate carries a bucket around town for his homeless owner, holding it out as strangers pass, soliciting donations. The adorable dog rakes in cash on a daily basis, and even goes so far as to grab bills that miss the bucket, gently placing them in it before he moves on to the next potential donor. It’s effective and affecting, and as cute as it is many have questioned the welfare of the dog.
They were correct in doing so. On Tuesday, Chocolate’s owner, Noe Boo, was arrested after an officer witnessed the homeless man beating and kicking his dog and dragging it behind his bicycle. After years spent supporting his abusive owner, Chocolate was taken from him and placed in the custody of Miami-Dade County Animal Services, where he awaits rescue.
Obviously, a number of dogs find themselves in similar situations with regularity, but given Chocolate’s fame, we think he makes an excellent “spokesdog”, a public face if you will for other dogs on death row who deserve a chance to live out their days in peace. And given the fact that he’s known for his panhandling trick, we’re concerned that someone with impure motives may try to adopt him in order to put him back to work for the sake of profit.
Now that his owner’s character is apparent, it’s probably not a big stretch to assume that Chocolate was not trained to beg in a kind or humane fashion, and if he has spent the last few years of his life being beaten in order to perform, the last thing he needs is to find himself being forced to work for his survival.
With that in mind, we ask that you share his story with anyone in the greater Miami area. Despite recent news coverage of his plight, when I spoke with the shelter at 9 this morning they told me no that no rescue groups, potential adopters or foster homes had come forward to make arrangements to get him out of the pound by 6-30, and unless that changes, Chocolate will be euthanized.
Yanked from the fire and thrown into the frying pan, a dog who has spent his entire life begging now finds himself, figuratively speaking, begging for his own life. Please make time today to let others know about his plight. So many dogs destined for death are saved by collective efforts largely driven by sharing, and it is our mission today to see to it that Chocolate gets a second chance. He has earned a restful retirement.
Chocolate’s listing page at the Miami-Dade County Animal Services shelter can be viewed here.
Noe Boo is seen standing with his bicycle as Chocolate works the crowd for donations.