Dog News

AC Officers Help Homeless Family Keep Their Dog

by Katherine

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Animal control officers from Chicago’s northern suburbs helped a homeless family reunite with their loved pet, after the family sadly surrendered their dog when they could no longer care for him.

Linda Barnes from Waukegan, Ill., showed up at the animal control facility to sign over her black Labrador named Shadow. Barnes had recently lost her house and could no longer care for the dog.

Photo Credit: Dana Deutsch/NACC
Photo Credit: Dana Deutsch/NACC

“She was extremely sad,” Animal Control Supervisor Sergeant Darcie Brown told NBC Chicago. “She walked up and she said ‘Can you take my dog?’ I said ‘Why are you giving him up?’ and she said ‘Well, because we are homeless now and we can’t take care of the dog.'”

The suburban animal control facility doesn’t take in pets from outside the area, but Brown was moved by Barnes’ story and knew she had to help. The animal control supervisor called fellow Animal Control Officer Dana Deustch, who was off of work that day, and asked to help.

“It was devastating watching and listening to her,” said Deutsch. “People give up their dogs like, you know, they’re just throwing out the trash sometimes and this dog was like the last thing she had. I felt like it was the last thing she had in her world that meant anything to her.”

Deustch took Shadow home with her and immediately started looking for ways to help. Many rescue organizations were willing to take Shadow into their programs, but Deustch felt she could keep the dog with her until she figured out how to help Barnes.

A few days later Barnes called animal control with good news. She had found a home for her and her family and wanted to know if she could have her dog back. This was just what Deustch and Brown were hoping for.

“We’ll do whatever we can to support [Barnes] and help her. We’ll provide her with food as long as we can. We’re always willing to help out,” said Deustch.

Barnes couldn’t believe that after all the hardships she went through, and after having to give up on her four-legged best friend, she was going to be reunited with the loyal pet.

Thanks to the compassion of these Chicagoland animal control officers, Shadow is back home were he belongs.