Animal Rescue Group Helps Homeless Family and Their Pets

by Katherine

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Melrose Park Neglected Dogs (MPND) is a group of animal lovers who volunteer their time to feed stray animals abandoned at a park in Houston, Texas. The volunteers also network and try to find foster homes or permanent placement for the animals with different local rescue groups. Last night, the group posted an emergency message on their Facebook wall asking the community to help a homeless family.

The family is a unique group of 7 individuals, Rich, Pat and their 5 pets – dogs Duke and BooBoo, and three cats. Both humans lost their jobs and Pat, unfortunately, has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

One of Rich and Pat's pets. Photo Credit: Melrose Park Neglected Dogs
BooBoo, one of Rich and Pat’s pets. Photo Credit: Melrose Park Neglected Dogs


MPND met the homeless family when one of the volunteers realized the couple had pets and were doing their best to care for them. The volunteer approached the family to drop off dog and cat food and that was when the rescue organization learned of the family’s unfortunate past.

All 7 family members had been living with Rich’s aunt. She was an elderly woman and Rich was her caretaker, but when she passed away, the family had nowhere else to go but to the streets of Houston. Rich is in his late 50s and has a knee injury, he receives social security for his disability. Pat is in her 60s and worked until her cancer was diagnosed.

“I have never smelled alcohol and [have never] seen signs of drug use,” said the volunteer. “I think they were like most of us – one pay check away from being homeless.”

The family camped near a local shopping center but last night the owner of the mall evicted them from the place. With nowhere to go, they turned to the rescue group and the volunteer who had helped them in the past.

Immediately, the homeless family was moved from the property and a Good Samaritan offered them a room for the night, however the pets were not welcomed.

“The animals were left tied to a pole with make shift dog houses!!!” read the Facebook post. “Another homeless man was going to watch them for the night and Rich was going back over at 5 a.m. to get them.”

MPND asked the community last night for ideas on how to help this family. Many followers asked for a donation link to send money to and others asked for a place to drop off items that could help the family. Concerned animal lovers suggested finding the family an affordable place to rent where pets are welcomed.

The rescue group is collecting funds that will go towards the available housing options this family has. For now, the volunteer helping the family is fostering the three cats and Duke and BooBoo are being placed in temporary boarding. Pat and Rich will be at a motel for the night until their future living arrangements get finalized.

Melrose Park Neglected Dogs wants to find this family of 7  a safe place as soon as possible. The goal is to allow Rich and Pat to spend every night with their beloved pets in a safe and warm home.

If you would like to make this dream come true, consider making an online donation.

Learn more about Rich, Pat, and their pets at MPND’s Facebook page.