Rescue Mission: Famous Panhandling Dog on Death Row

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.

Famous for panhandling on behalf of his homeless owner, a Florida dog named Chocolate awaits rescue from death row at the Miami-Dade County Animal Services shelter.

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.


  1. SHARED :)

  2. Praying for this sweet boy!


  4. Maresy says on  06/25/2011 at 11:18 am

    Shared on my wall & tried posting it to other walls…seems some jerk reported it as spam.

  5. Becky says on  06/25/2011 at 11:25 am

    This story made me so sad. I hope Chocolate finds a home soon.

  6. Yes, we ran into the same problem!

  7. Minxzie says on  06/25/2011 at 11:27 am


  8. A rescue in Texas will take him. Any Rescue Groups in Florida to contact this person?

  9. Shared!

  10. me too: could only share directly from FB, but not from the posting. Hope someone comes through for good boy Chocolate

  11. Did the E. Texas rescue find transport?

  12. Just use the share button above, and thank you…

  13. Shared!!

  14. DaveS says on  06/25/2011 at 11:29 am

    I live on the Oregon coast where we do not kill dogs but work hard to find them homes. That pup needs a home and hope there is a followup on this with a happy ending.

  15. how sad for poor chocolate – hopefully he can start a new, much happier life in texas if he can find a way there

  16. Shared!! I hope and pray Chocolate is rescued to a loving home!!

  17. Jeanne says on  06/25/2011 at 11:49 am

    @Maresy Moran and anyone else getting the “spam” message, you can share from THIS page! After hitting “share”, go to the top where it says “share on your page” then click on the arrow and you’ll get other options. It will only say “spam” if it’s shared from Life with Dogs actually website (because of some idiot, long story).

  18. If there is anyone who can at least form and sort of “chain transport” from Miami to maybe the panhandle and then other rescues from there…….?

  19. Shared.

  20. This is not fair too the dog!!! Punish the owner not the poor baby that was just doing what his owner wanted him too!!! Ughhh!!!

  21. do hope this dog is saved someone don,t let him or her die shared.

  22. OMG had read the story but the video makes it more real.. Lets get this out.. He deserves a good home with a family to love and treasure this beautiful dog.. <3

  23. Being a dog lover and currently have none, I would love to adopt Chocolate….let me know what I have to do and I’ll see what I can do… I have been living with ill parents for the last 2 yrs. who passed a month ago and really need a doggy to love and care for. Pls consider me in adopting Chocolate. I have a home with a great big fenced in yard and a nice soft bed for Chocolate…8)

  24. Barbara says on  06/25/2011 at 12:16 pm

    I am so glad you are broadcasting Chocolate’s plight. If I lived in the area, I’d come get him. I certainly hope someone does!

  25. He can have a permanent home with me, if the rescue in Texas can get him to Texas. I will pick him up from there and bring him to his furever home.

  26. do hope chocolate can be saved I SHARED

  27. shared…..

  28. frank calcione says on  06/25/2011 at 12:52 pm

    Tell me how much it will coast to save chocolate i live on a small farm in RI and he will be welcomed here

    • Anonymous says on  06/25/2011 at 9:45 pm

      Frank, we would have to check into flight costs to you from Florida. If you are serious, please advise and I will start making calls. Marla & I are planning to try to get him out of Miami Dade tomorrow, but we need a solid place for him to go. Neither she nor I can take him as we are both overloaded with our own packs. :) Please advise!!

  29. SSB Pack says on  06/25/2011 at 1:20 pm

    I sent this out to the rescues I know that work on the east coast.

    I am crossing my fingers; “hang in there Chocolate, I am praying help is on the way!”

  30. Brad LErch says on  06/25/2011 at 3:36 pm

    This would be an AWESOME addition to ANY rescue organization or any organization that raises funds from donations! What better gimmick could you have?!

    Two birds with one stone, save this guys life, give him a happy home, and let him rake in some bucks for the organization!!!!!

  31. I have a good feeling that Chocolate is going to be living a much better life soon. Dog people are the best, and it looks like they’re coming through for this boy!

  32. Michelle says on  06/25/2011 at 10:39 pm

    We are looking for volunteers to drive a leg to get Chocolate from Miami to Texas:

    Miami to Tampa – covered
    Tampa to ??
    ?? to ??
    ?? to Nacogdoches, TX

    Once in Texas, his forever home to will come and get him!!! :)
    Let’s help Chocolate!!

    • melanie bryan says on  06/26/2011 at 1:01 am

      Im in pensacola and am off from work on wednesday. I can definitley make it to gainsville or possibly ocala. Then back home to pensacola where maybe someone else can pick him up?

    • Robin says on  06/26/2011 at 7:20 am

      I’m in the Tampa area. I can drive north towards Orlando, Ocala area, maybe farther to the Lake City area. Let me know.

      • wanda overcash says on  06/27/2011 at 10:46 am

        Robin I am sending someone for the dog today. She will hold him for me until this Saturday. Do you know anyone who has a large wire dog cage?
        I’m friends on face book with you, let me know. I plan on keeping him if I can’t findn the perfect home. If anyone wants to help with vet bills, If someone else gets him. feel free to email me. They can make the donations directly to the vet I will provide the name and address.

        • Michelle says on  06/27/2011 at 10:57 am

          Please note that you are wasting your time. I was three at MDAS yesterday and he cannot be released until June 30th!!! He is on hold while the owner (the cruel bum) is allowed time per the law to go to court and fight the cruelty case. I even tried to pay for him to hold him while we waited by MDAS will not allow this. I just wanted to save you a wasted trip, gas and time. It would be better to wait until morning of 30th to go.

          – Michelle

          • wanda says on  06/27/2011 at 12:38 pm

            michelle can u email directly or ccall me 904-705-7019 every time i call there i get a diffrent story. And if you live there and want him, I will cancel my trip this weekend. If you are just transporting then i could use someone driving towards jax thats where i live. It will be a long day trip for me.

          • carolynah says on  06/28/2011 at 11:29 pm

            What is the id # for Chocolate?

  33. Amy says on  06/26/2011 at 12:43 am


  34. Jennifer says on  06/26/2011 at 3:23 am

    I’ve shared the story/link with an animal welfare group I work closely with and who has connections all across the country. They’ve participated in “transportation trains” for various animal companions before so hopefully someone can help who lives in the SE part of the country. PAWS CROSSED! :-)

  35. Michelle says on  06/26/2011 at 9:04 am

    Ok, we have some movement on volunteers this morning!!! :)
    Miami to Tampa : Michelle (Sunday 6/26)

    Tampa to Gainsville : Robin (can u do this on Wednesday to accommodate Mel?)

    Need housing from Sunday to Wednesday in Tampa area…..!

    Gainsville to Pensacola : Mel (Wednesday 6/29)

    Pensacola to Nagodoches, TX (:multiple legs) : NEED VOLUNTEERS!! Please help us help Chocolate!

    • Can you tell me weight on this nice looking boy and will he get along with other dogs and cats? I do have a local boarding cottage that might be able to hold him for me – they have on site attendants and lot’s of people interaction play time. Do we know if he rides well in a car? ; ) I have a large wire crate for travel, might not be big enough. I can probably borrow a larger one from my friends @ – I’ll call them now to alert them.

    • melanie bryan says on  06/26/2011 at 10:25 am

      Yay!!! Has anyone been in touch with Kevin? I am so happy to know that somehow Chocolate is going to get the 2nd chance he deserves :)

      • I just was friended by Kevin and wrote him a message about the transport and needing funds for Vet bills and what ever else. Asking if he’s a 501(c)3.

    • Wed would be OK, see my later post on here.

    • Marla says on  06/26/2011 at 11:47 am

      Wow Michelle – you’re working it & I am so impressed with everyone coming forward.

  36. Has Chocolate gotten a Vet check, Heartworm check, Kennel Cough, Rabies and Parvo vaccines? Just don’t want to potentially spread the germs to our pets via transport. If someone will to pay the Vet bill for all this, I can have it done here during his 3 day stay. Payment could be made direct to the Vet for all services through a donation. Fox and Friends Animal Hospital

    • Marla says on  06/26/2011 at 11:41 am

      I have no information on his disposition, weight, etc. You can contact the Miami Dade shelter directly for this information. Someone posted yesterday that he’d been rescued but I was unable to confirm. I’ve not heard from Michelle today for a status update. Thanks for coming forward :)

  37. Ok, the news I hear from Kevin in TX is that Chocolate won’t be releaed until June 30th. I’m thinking the 29th. Most shelters have to hold animals for 7 days until the owner has time to come get them. Stupid for an abused animal. Keep me in the loop we’re ready in Tampa.

  38. Hello!

    I have been reading the recent comments and I just wanted to know if the plans are set to find Chocolate a new home. If not, I will gladly post this to my network in Miami. I am a part of a wonderful organization called Helping Homeless Animals that services the Miami-Dade area. Please let me know if there is anything we can do.


  39. Kay says on  06/27/2011 at 10:08 am


  40. BETTE says on  06/27/2011 at 12:27 pm

    what a stupid thing to do such to a brave,hard working for such jerk!!! put him on death row, not for chocolate!!!! he deserves to be retired and put in good and happy home!!! I MEAN IT!!! AGAINST DEATH ROW FOR DOGS!! NO KILLED ANIMALS,TOO THANKS

  41. fb wont share this on my fb pg ;( ….praying for intercession for this dog an the alll the dogs on death row….

  42. Hey Critter Lovers, I think I’ll ask the folks @ SunCoast Animal League if they’d be interested in helping us with Chocolate and maybe Marcus, too. It’s just amazing how many critters are out in the world that need loving homes. Keep posting to us Michelle – on your news from M-D Shelter.

  43. Michelle gave me the ID # for Marcus: A1359286. If we could find someone to take him and/or Chocolate that would be amazing! Here is the website to Marcus’ profile:

  44. Angela says on  06/28/2011 at 1:31 pm

    i sent an email to the shelter and asked about this dog, he is doing fine and with a foster family.

  45. Kimberly says on  07/01/2011 at 10:53 pm

    YAY!!!!! <3

  46. ColandLinden says on  07/01/2011 at 10:54 pm

    Where did he go?

  47. Now we have to find out where. The shelter won’t tell us, but it would be surprising if it didn’t eventually make the news.

  48. Suzi says on  07/01/2011 at 10:55 pm

    happy dance:)

  49. The article doesn’t say anything about it. Do you have any details? I know they were trying to line something up as soon as this came out. A farm somewhere in the midwest if I remember correctly. Do you know if that’s where he’s going?

  50. LuLu says on  07/01/2011 at 10:56 pm


  51. Please read the comments above yours…

  52. YAY!!!! Good job getting the word out.

  53. Maresy says on  07/01/2011 at 10:57 pm

    I kinda understand not wanting a fuss about it for Chocolate’s sake but geez, we all would really like to have something tangible to acknowledge. Please let this be true. Please.

  54. Bonnie says on  07/01/2011 at 10:57 pm

    So happy for Chocolate!!! 😉 xxx

  55. Janice says on  07/01/2011 at 10:57 pm

    Oh, he got a new home????? You just answered my question! I’m very happy to hear that. I hope he lives out his life in peace and love.

  56. YEY he went home today?

  57. Karma reigns again and all is right with the world, oh at least for Chocolate ;D

  58. Rachel says on  07/01/2011 at 10:59 pm

    Oh what wonderful, wonderful news. May joy and happiness be with him in his new life.

  59. They would not disclose any details, just said he was safe…

  60. I’m so very Happy for him, he deserved to be somewhere he will be loved and cared for. Blessings bab boy your Awesome

  61. Thank God for people with huge hearts to rescue this wonderful dog. Now if only, we could do this for ALL the dogs and cats that need good homes. Stop over breeding, educate about spaying and neutering, stop puppy mills, on and on, THEN and only then will I stand up and cheer. In the meantime, YAY for Chocolate!!!!!

  62. Kimberly says on  07/01/2011 at 10:59 pm

    Forgot to add that I hope his former owner gets a new home too..called jail!

  63. YAAAY! Thank you whomever-you-are! 😀

  64. so SO happy for chocolate, what a great Canada Day this is turning out to be!

  65. Janice says on  07/01/2011 at 11:01 pm

    I’m so so happy, have been thinking about him since you out up the first post about him, great news :)

  66. Janice says on  07/01/2011 at 11:01 pm

    Just glad to hear he’s safe. This info is from someplace you trust? As long as you do, I do as well. I can sigh a sigh of relief for this baby and rest a bit easier.

  67. such a relief…..sigh

  68. @ Janice straight from the shelter.

  69. Laura says on  07/01/2011 at 11:03 pm

    It’s fitting that Chocolate gets freedom so close to the Fourth of July…so happy that he gets a happily ever after.

  70. cattye says on  07/02/2011 at 1:20 pm

    was he rescued? I can’t tell from these posts…

  71. Ganit says on  07/12/2011 at 10:15 pm

    Hi. I found out from the animal shelter that yes, he was temporarily fostered but can not be adopted by anyone until the courts reach a decision. Apparently they can still decide to give him back to the owner but I’m hoping that will never happen. I was told to follow up with Miami Beach Police and voice my opinion there. Let’s hope everyone does…

  72. Brittany says on  08/23/2011 at 2:37 pm

    What is the update? Did the dog arrive in TX?

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