Man Chooses Homelessness Rather Than Abandon Pit Bull

“When I saw Dave and Petey warm and sound asleep on the couch with their arms around each other, it made me know it was the right thing,” Bob said.

12.6.14 - Man Chooses Homelessness over Abandoning Dog


Dave Antonucci is a homeless man living by the side of some railroad tracks in Linden, New Jersey.  He cannot find a proper place to live because of his dog Petey, who is a pit bull.  Dave says Petey is his son, and he’d rather be homeless than give him up.

Dave has been out on the streets for a long time.  People remember seeing Dave pushing Petey in a cart when he was only a puppy, and he is almost two now.

“He walks the streets all day, and if nobody offers him a place, he sleeps on the side of the tracks,” says Bob Scutro, who started a fundraiser for them.  “They walk many miles a day, as can be seen by Petey’s shape and feet.”


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Though Dave receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he cannot be accepted into an assisted living program as long as Petey is with him.  The same goes for any homeless shelters in the area.  He has already lost everything else, and refuses to give up his family member.

“We’ve been together day and night, ever since I’ve gotten him,” Dave told News 12 New Jersey. “He’s like my son. You know, ‘cause I don’t have no kids in life.”

Thankfully, there are many fine people in this world who are willing to help.  Bob and other good Samaritans are collecting clothing, food, and other supplies for the pair.  One person said:


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I met Dave last night at the Walmart in Linden…. I had brought over dog food, milk bones (which Petey tore through in five minutes), and an old dog bed so Petey wouldn’t have to sit on the cold ground… spoke to Dave for a good hour, then went in Walmart… got Dave some food and Petey some dog toys. 

I then loaded them in my car and drove them to where he was supposed to stay last night, but no one was there.  Now on a mission… called Robert C Scutro, his original advocate, and we both started making calls.

Thanks to Maria Lynn we secured him a temporary place to stay; this picture is Petey enjoying his new toys in a warm place to stay.  Keep sharing and please donate if you can… when people come together, we can do amazing things!


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The main goal is to get them into a home where Petey can stay while Dave works, but for now, temporary housing is the first priority.  He would be more than happy to rent someone’s basement or garage.  But Bob says the fundraiser’s aim is to get Dave into a place where the rent will be covered for a year, long enough to get him back on his feet.  Bob was kind enough to bring them in for a night.

“The next morning when I walked in and saw Dave and Petey warm and sound asleep on the couch with their arms around each other, not even knowing I was there, it made me know it was the right thing.”

Dave has not asked for any of this himself.  He is more concerned about making sure that his boy – who is fairly healthy – is well cared for.  There are plans for Petey to be fully vetted on Monday.


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Dave has basic skills and can do yard work to earn money.  He just wants to be self-sufficient again, and is overwhelmed by all the visitors and help he and Petey are receiving.

Anyone interested in donating clothing should note that Dave wears M/L, pant size 30×30, and boot size 9.5.  He could really use some (L/XL) sweaters/hoodies, (sweat-wicking) socks, wash cloths, dog food and dog toys (ball, Kong).  If you would like to donate online, please CLICK HERE.  To donate (food) gift cards, clothing, food, etc. please call Gina Lewis at 908-230-5644, or send items to

Bob Scutro

300 W. Curtis St

Linden NJ 07036



UPDATE  12/13/14  –  After a local news broadcast, a number of friends who had fallen out of touch got in contact with Dave.  There were nearly 50 offers of places to live – from New Jersey to California – but Dave politely declined, because now, along with Petey, he is staying with one of his friends in his hometown of Rahway, NJ.  Bob – the man who started the fundraiser – is still considering what to do with all the excess donations.  He may return them, or perhaps give them to another worthy cause.

398 thoughts on “Man Chooses Homelessness Rather Than Abandon Pit Bull

  1. Dave what you are doing for Petey is absolutely admirable, you are such an inspiration to me. I do hope you get back on your feet soon and fine a safe place for you and Petey. That good Samaritan/s are so incredibly kind, god bless you!

    1. You are awesome and I am sorry that you have to go through this because of ignorant people who do not understand that it isn’t the breed it is those who choose to raise a dog mean that gives them a bad name. I have had two dogs that are on the list of being “bad, aggressive, etc.” and both were the biggest babies and I wouldn’t let anyone make me give them up either. I wish the best and the best in your search.

      1. Just look at that face on this furbaby. You can see he is a sweetheart but a little on the sad side. I hope they are both doing better. It’s so sad that people worry more about money than about keeping people together with their pets!

    2. I am literally in tears from this story. I know exactly how he felt.. I would rather be homeless than let go of my baby girl! I have had her since she was three weeks old and she will be three this year! I could not imagine not sleeping cuddled up next to her for even a night! I have lost multiple homes because of her breed. Places allow dogs but the moment they find out her breed its back on the streets. Im so tired of losing my home and everything else with it, but NONE of it can compare to the love I feel for this dog. I have researched multiple shelters but none allow pets so I am getting discouraged but we will not give up!! I just hope that we encounter such kind and compassionate people on our journey as well!! SO glad you guys are doing well!!


    1. Joanne you are so right and we can all look forward to when Our Father Jehovah will soon end the hungry situation for all mankind. However until that day we all should watch over our fellow man when they are unable to care for themselves. If we ourselves are able to share with Dave or any other who do not have the bear necessities we should. I just got a fulltime job after 4 years. I plan to also assist Dave and Petey asap. Please join in my friends and help with him or others in your community. May Jehovah watch over us all and may we all seek the Kingdom.

      1. Joanne & Kay
        When people use Jehovah’s name it makes me SO happy, he deserves all the credit. I too have been helping those who have pets and are in need. Jehovah loves the animals too, so when we who can, help others in need, do so we know he is smiling down on us. I would choose my dogs any day over a place to live but thankfully I don’t have to. Kudos to those who are able to help! Jehovah will bless your efforts.

  3. Us animal lovers understand your plight Dave!!! I have 2 dogs and a cat and would do as you are doing too if I had to. I had to stay with my son a while back and couldn’t bring my dog inside so I kept him in my car until I could get my own place. This went on for 2 months until I found a job and talked the landlord into letting me pay a deposit for him to come inside. My niece told me to “Just give him away” and of course I didn’t!!! Dave you and Petey are in my prayers. Things will get better just stay with God and hang in there!!!

  4. So the lazy sack went and got a puppy while he was homeless? Now he expects the world to pay for everything for him. Lose the dog, get a job.

      1. Fuck u, my fuckin pit is the best thing that ever happen to me shes too sweet for her own good. i left her for 1 hour one night n she had separation anxiety, opened sliding glass doors n pvc fences to find me. I wasn’t there n s he got hit by a car. I was back 30 mins later to find a dirt bag like half these people on these comments that wouldn’t look at her bright pink collar to call me. I had to pay 7000 dollars which i wouod never change to amputate her leg n wire her jaw to make her better.

    1. Hey Anonymous, you more than likely don’t want to give your name because of being a heartless ass, Dave propably found the dog abandoned as a puppy because of pieces of crap people that can do that type thing.So he actually saved a living sole. I don’t usually wish bad for anyone but people like you deserve something to happen so that you get a little taste of it.

      1. Maybe if you spelled “you’re” right and didn’t hide behind “Anonymous” someone would care about your opinion, you completely unintelligent sack of shit.

      2. “Anonymous”. I feel sorry for you. You’re probably at a point in your life where you need to find some courage to do something amazing. Instead, you’re acting like an imbecile. Did mummy not love you enough? Get over yourself.

      3. When people are given a forum to air THEIR thoughts, I would think they would try to act mature and not resort to a school child mentality. To those who react to petty name calling then lapse into cursing show an extreme lack of maturity and education and frankly, lose their credibility. We are all allowed our opinion, but I would hope in an educated manner. I also find compassion lacking in these arguments.

    2. Boy, I’ll bet you’re a ray of sunshine to live with, do us all a favour and please don’t have pets or children as your lack of empathy is frightening.

    3. hey anonymous i wish i could meet you one day and show you how to live. all you are is ignorant and selfish. and by the way crawl back under your rock and leave us alone.
      what this guy is doing for this man and his dog is tremendous i aplaude you, you are a good person. this pour guy needs all the help he could get.

    4. Your entitled to your opinion, but there’s no need to call him names. He did not ask for our help, hes appreciative and he plans on paying it forward… I hope if your life ever took a turn for the worst no matter the cause, you would have people to help you.
      Best Regards ….

    5. sorry you have such a terrible outlook on things, you must never had the love of an animal in your life or you wouldn’t think this way, Love and light to you

    6. You are crying out for attention by making such a stupid comment. It must be really lonely in your world. Go take meds for your condition, you’re sick dude.

    7. You should be ashamed of yourself the way you speak,hope karma catches up with you, you are one heartless person

    8. you are a total ass…..who needs people like you.
      someday you may need help, so you better watch out.

    9. Who do you think you are to judge? YOU do not know everything!
      Do a reality check! Instead of judging why don’t you give a helping
      hand? GOD knows all our hearts and does not give up on any of
      us! Thank goodness GOD is not like you! I will pray for YOU and
      others like YOU1
      GOD BLESS!

    10. he isnt a lazy sack first off and he had the dog before he lost his home. they gave him two choices get rid of the dog or lose your home. he loved the dog engough to get evicted. dont hate on the man. i love pitbulls. i have a 11 year old female and i love her to death. pitbulls arnt agressive, its the people that mistreat them that make those dogs hurt others. just like guns… guns dont hurt others, the person holding the gun did… so go hate somewhere else.

    11. I don’t see why either should suffer, man or the dog! Hardly a sympathetic comment, “lazy sack” (by someone who never had a fur companion?)

  5. OMG. I wish I had the resources to help Dave and the dog. They deserve it more than many other people who take advantage of the system. Remember no good deed goes unpunished.

  6. I lost my husband a year ago today,half of me is gone. The thing is are animals are and were our kids. A real human was put on this earth to love and care for all living things. Mr. Anonymous should be getting your pity not your anger he is the reason the world is the way it is today. Full of hate. He is ignorant and does not know any better, stop arguing with him. It is what he wants. If I could get Dave to Florida, I have a mobile home he could live in and help me out on the farm. I pray he gets the help he needs.

      1. Juanita, you are a wonderful person. I am hoping we can get enough donations to fly him there with his dog. You just offered him the perfect opportunity at a chance to change his life and be safe. If only more people can open their heart like this, the world would be a better place. THANK YOU

    1. You could look into some of the animal transport groups that might help by transporting Dave and Petey. That would be a fantastic thing if enough people could look into this and try and get them there or, enough donations to fly him there. His life would absolutely change for the better and Juanita, you are a fabulous person to open your heart to this man. He obviously is a good soul as well and will be a tremendous help to you.

    2. contact the phone number that was listed and make the offer. Maybe a network of people could get him down there if he is willing to relocate..k

  7. Juanita if this is a new post I am betting that someone would take you up on your kind offer of help/job. I would be willing to donate $50 for anyone who might be headed your way and who could take them. Anyone else want to help? I have my e-mail on here so that the originator of this post can contact me if they need this small donation for transportation.

    1. Me too Juanita, if they can find someone to get him to you, I’ll kick in 50 also. Left my email here too so admin can contact me.

  8. This guy is homeless by his own free will, and people are just being taken in by him because he has attached the dog to him as part of his troubles. People are more apt to give him things if they think that the animal will benefit more. He gets SSI, that’s make him not homeless. With his SSI benefits, he can get himself a place to stay that also allows animals. There are other organizations that will help this self made bum if he asks for their help. Many of the commenters on here seem to forget that he gets SSI and can get himself to Florida without their aid, that ‘s just money that he puts in his pockets.

    1. ssi you get about 700 a month if your in a home however when you don’t pay rent you get about half that amount so rent anywhere is next to impossible unless you have room mates also if there are mentle problems alot of these people are incapable of doing all of the reqiurements required so when you see the homeless its because our system needs an over haul maybe someone reading this can help in this direction also if you recieve any help then food stamps go down the the first of any help has to go toward the food that is taken and also if there is to much help then the ssi is stoped

    2. Golferbob you are truly confused….who the hell is homeless by their own free will? You have nothing positive to say so why are you posting?

    3. ssi is a pitiful amount, I know, I am lucky enough to not have to pay rent or a mortgage or I would be on the street too, with my dog!!!!

    4. This man has something in this world that he loves and something in this world who unconditionally loves him. Priceless.

    5. Golferbob Yes he purposely got this pup so people would give him things. See how totally stupid that statement is! Anything government run will not allow the dog & most home owners are convinced it’s a bully breed & won’t rent to folks with Pitbulls. Now go to the golf course & freeze your a$$ off. Because you may get a dose of how Dave & Petey lives.

      1. Bully breed, my foot! I can think of a couple of bullies amongst humans; yet they are allowed in everywhere, no questions asked!!!

  9. Maybe he can make his dog a service dog and that way they cant discriminate due to the A.D.A. They should make some of those pits in shelters service dogs.(if applicable).

  10. I have a pitbull named roscoe same breed as his dog and people say im crazy because i love my dog that much to be homeless to be with him! Noone understands how you feel until they are in a situation of that sort! Please someone help him find a home for him and his puppy! I look at my dog roscoe as a one of my children! I am also having to move but he will be located at a relative’s ca shop comfortably not far from me where i can feed and see him daily!

  11. Read the story and get the real message!! Some of these comments are so judgemental. The old adage-If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything applies here.

    Dave is a loving soul that HAS A FAMILY…PETEY!! 🙂 Bob met him and saw the need and is trying to give them both a HAND UP… not a hand out.

    It is extremely noble that Dave is keeping Petey with him. It is extremely noble that Bob was intuitive enough to see they were two living souls in need. 🙂

    God Bless all involved!!! 🙂 If you can physically/financially help-Wonderful. If you cannot, do not feel bad. Pray for them and this situation. Thank you Bob for what you are doing! Thank you for sharing and caring.
    Thank you, Melanie for making us aware.

    Hugs and furry kisses for Petey and hugs for Dave!

  12. Golferbob, its nice to see how much compassion you have for the holidays. Merry Christmas to you, too.

  13. Am I the only American that deeply feels this country is doomed to a horrible fate if we don’t take out nation back and get rid of all the soul less money grubbing, cut throat, bought off slim running the freak show. Too say we are off track is a laughable joke and the joke is on the American people.

  14. If you can make his dog a service dog they have to accept him in any housing situation. If Dave has a history of depression, PTST, or any other from of disability he can get his dog as a service dog and it would solve part of the problem. Service dogs are used in many situations and by law they can’t be excluded for any housing or other facilities.

  15. I have two pit bull mix family members and was homeless this year for 7 months because I could not find anyone to rent to me. I finally went through the process of buying a home but am now living beyond my means as a young single female and am facing foreclosure. I will soon be in your situation again and am planning on moving south for the winter. Our hearts will be with you and Petey in these trying times.

  16. Bless you Bob and all the other people out there who are helping this poor man and his wonderful dog. To all other people who are so negative…go jump off a bridge please. We don’t really need heartless people on this planet. There are too many of you.

  17. Please take the time and help this man and his precious dog. The address and phone number are at the end of the article. I am going to send them something. Please help. Merry Christmas.

  18. I know for a fact there is no bad pit bull it’s the owners that train them that way or lack of training. ive had 3 pit’s in my life and all 3 were big baby’s who would rather lick you to death than bite. dave is an awesome person who deserves a great deal better than he’s had just because he has love for an animal who others fear. the dang ankle biting little shitzu or mini poodle are 10x more dangerous cause you don’t expect a lil dog to be mean. they are nasty animals. and statistics show little dogs and labs bite more than a pit.

  19. There but for the grace of God go I…… I really feel for us a a nation. We fight to allow those who enter our country illegally all the amenities available but yet we want to bash one of our own citizens for being homeless?Does that make sense? We all make poor choices and we have all had things happen beyond our circumstances…..being homeless isnt a crime and many homeless care for their pets far better then many living in homes. Our world is topsy turvy and we get stuck on a detail rather than see the big picture. Bless those helping Dave and Petey…. shame on those saying negative things…..

  20. Juanita if this is possible that you can take Dave and Petey I will donate also to get him over to are amazing to do this. It angers me that people don’t understand and when they don’t understand, were the crazy ones but what’s really crazy is that they don’t see how inhumane they are being. So what if he got Petey when he was a puppy. Maybe thats what he needed for his sanity purpose. Who knows. And he wasn’t asking for anything it was our caring hearts that said we would help because we understand. May Jehovah watch over him and Petey. I will be sending a donation for some sort but keep me posted please.

  21. As I read the comments its so sad how people think and that is the reason why things happen the way they do I live in Connecticut and there are a lot of homeless people and it breaks my heart I don’t think no one wants to be homeless no one if they had the choice I had 2 cats that died but when I had them for 15 years I was looking for a apartment and was told I could not bring them so I turned down the place and found some place that did once you have a pet for a while they become your child so I don’t blame him a bit and I am a medical case Manager and SSI don’t pay enough for you to pay rent all your bills and live unless you can find a housing program I am going to be donating things for him and I wish I had a extra room I would take them in praying that things will get better but I know there are still good people out there that cares and have hearts and wont judge you never know when you will be homeless never jobs close everyday people need to think about that before they judge

  22. Too bad they don’t have something like this out there for him. It would be perfect for him and Petey until he gets back on his feet and find a real place that will allow pits. I really hate that they stereo type the dogs. I have a lab and some lab mixes and I have to pay more for my homeowners insurance as they state that Labs are in the top 5 for aggressive dogs.

    I hope one day this man and his fur baby will find a permanent place to live in peace very soon.

  23. I bet Petey could have a good meal eating Mr. Anonymous’ dead carcass after karma pays him a visit. What a total asshole

  24. He’d rather be with his master. I love this story and his love is inspiring. We have three rescues and would have three more if we could. Bravo good sir and good luck!

  25. good man, its sad they need to stop this BSL crap, its not the breed its the losers behind the leash that fight them and train them.

  26. That’s how I feel about my boys. What an amazing man to choose such a life for himself over taking that baby away to a shelter or the streets like some people.

  27. I cannot like this post, not because I don’t believe in this guys cause, but because there is far to many miss informed people about Pitts. Why our country has such a hard time getting over our fears of things we don’t know. I applaud his decision but just don’t understand people.

  28. Its so ridiculous the discrimination against dog breeds.

    If the insurance company had a rule of “No black ppl allowed because theyre aggressive ” or “No gay people because theyre unpredictable” the community would be up in arms. The same equal rights treatment should be extended to our animal brethren.

    Or at the very least, apply the same discrimination bias and callousness to our own

  29. Random acts of kindness, no matter how small, really make a difference! And they sometimes snowball into something wonderful! Does a heart good! Thanks for sharing the story. Would love to hear how this family progresses.

  30. He is a good man. I would choose to be homeless as well before I would give up my dog. He is my child. Do they ask parents of human children to give up their children? It is the same for dog owners. These babies are part of our souls and we would be just as devastated without them as any parent would be without their child. My dog makes less noise and less mess and does less damage than most people’s children, so I really don’t get not renting to people with pets. I realize this story is about the specific dog breed, but honestly, these dogs are generally loving and protective of their homes and families. They are usually only aggressive because of lack of attention and training, or because they have been trained to be aggressive. This is totally the owner’s fault. I hope things work out for Dave and Petey,

  31. The dog looks cared for, seems friendly, so what’s the problem! I hate BSL! Someone rent this man a space with his dog. I respect him for not giving up on his dog. God bless him

  32. A good man indeed. Standing up for his dog which is his family. May God bless. Him and they find a home soon for the both of them .

  33. We as a society need to get our heads out of our ass. Any breed of dog can be aggressive. It’s all about how there raised if anyone should be blamed it’s there owners. Pit bull’s, rot’s and any other on the list of of aggressive breeds are the most loyal and loving dogs you can ever have. It’s on on the owners!

  34. what a good man my kids were raised wirth a pit and he was so gentle protect my kids everytime some one would knock he would stand in front of the door so my son couldnt open the son would ride him like a horse swim with him in the pool and not once did he every get bite barked at himnothing id rather have a pit then a small dog those are dangereous lol

  35. make Pete a certified therapy dog, and then by law, if he is trained and well behaved, you can go anywhere

  36. You can have your pets registered as emotional service pets so you can’t be denied housing because of them

  37. I would eat my Dog if I were starving and I certainly wouldn’t let my Dog make me homeless. It’s just a Freakin Dog. Now keep in mind, I also love my Dog. But I suppose if you’re a crazy person who has driven away all human beings from your life, choosing a dog to be your soul mate makes sense.

    1. I guess you are incapable of understanding the bond between man and dog. You would eat your dog but he wouldn’t eat you. You’re an imbecile and it shows

    2. David: You are incapable of any compassion, I believe. Man has used then abused animals throughout history. Eating your dog? I pray to God, you grow some sense and understand someone keeping their dog instead of caring for themselves. You, Sir, are a cad to even imply the dog should be eaten. If that is your take, maybe you should move to a country that makes a practice of same. Even in the story of “ALIVE” and the survivors of a plane crash made the decision to “eat” the dead passengers struggled with that issue. Apparently, from your reply, you would just rip out a knife and grab onto a body part and “dig in”. Sympathy to your lack of compassion.

    3. It is true that a dog cannot replace other human beings. But not everyone has other human beings in their life. Many homeless people only have a dog as a friend. That emotional bond, for someone who might otherwise be alone, is worth more than a roof over one’s head.
      You have no knowledge that a given individual is crazy or has driven all human being away from his life. As one can see from the article, this dog is actually bringing this man closer to some human beings, Bob Scutro, for instance.

    4. And you, are ‘just a Freakin Human’! You say you love your dog, but I would be willing to bet your dog stays outside and on a chain – merely existing, not living a good life! There are too many people like you and I know some of them, but don’t like to be around them. Humans are not more important in God’s eyes!! If you believe in God and Jesus, and have read the Bible, you would know He created us humans (after the animals) to care for and protect ALL Living things on this Earth – especially Living Beings!!! “You can tell a person’s heart and soul by his/her attitudes and actions toward animals.” I feel sorry for your children, being taught your attitudes toward other Living Beings!! Remember Jesus’s Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”!!! If He had meant just humans, He would have stated ‘man, woman, people, etc. Instead, he said ‘others’ referring to Living Beings!
      I have a lot of respect for this man, because it takes strength to do what he is doing! The easy way would be to abandon or take his fur-baby to a shelter, knowing he would probably die or be killed! I have been in a similar situation. I was 60 years of age, had lost my job, then lost my home, and had 2 fur-babies. God saw and helped me through 4 months of homelessness with my babies! They came first – just like my children – and they were healthy and Loved!!
      Also, fyi, most of us ‘Dog Lovers’ have not driven away all human beings from our lives and we are NOT crazy. We respect, appreciate, and Love the animals God created, that give us humans unconditional Love in every way!!!

    5. wouldn’t it be easier to EAT YOUR MOTHER , I am sure she has a lot more meat on her than your dog and the dog I am sure has a bigger heart………….
      “B A D B OY “

    6. @’David’ — Your bedside manner appears to show a gap or two. “Just a freaking dog”… ? Know this: to better understand humans scientists study animals. Usually rats, not dogs (they are too smart). As to “eat or be eaten” : a bit basic isn’t it? Southeast Asians in the family?

    7. Think of that: a typical ‘lord of creation’ statement; but not necessarily friendly or high minded. Considering NO DOG EVER would eat its master, whether or not it’d be starving, dogs appear to be naturally more civilized than some humans, by a long shot…

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