We aren’t in the season of giving quite yet, but one Florida animal shelter couldn’t wait to share on their social media how a little act of kindness can go a long way when they helped reunite the owner with her dog, free of charge.
Glock, a lovable, 2-year-old pit bull, who is also deaf, is the lead character in the story that has made social media gush since the Facebook post went viral, amassing more than 15,000 views, 11,000 shares and 1,800 comments.
“I had no idea the story would be so well received, but I was so glad it made people realize that not every animals that is at the shelter is homeless. They could just be unable to come for the animal because they can no longer care for it and that is what shelters are here for: to help those in need," Jessica Gutmann, operations manager at the Santa Rosa County Animal Services, told Inside Edition Digital.
One morning last month, Gutmann arrived at the shelter and saw Glock tied to a fence. She said that she and the staff thought the dog had been a stray and that someone had found him and had left him at the center when they were closed, but later learned that wasn’t the story after all.
"Our cameras weren’t working so we had no proof who dropped him off,” Gutmann said.
It was later discovered Glock was not a stray. He had a loving mom who was desperately searching for her best friend. According to Gutmann, the woman was allegedly having issues with her landlord and had no phone or car and little resources to search for four-legged friend and was heartbroken.
Glock did not have a identification tag but his microchip traced him back to his original owner, not his current owner. The chip did not have the correct information on the dog owner and it looked like Gutmann and her team were going to hit a wall, but things started looking up.
“When we reached out to Glock’s previous owner he knew who she was and was able to get in touch with him,” Gutmann explained.
Two weeks later, Glock was happily reunited with his mom, thanks to the dedication and a little detective work from the animal shelter.
Gutmann recalls the tearful reunion.
“Can I please have my dog back? I don’t have any money to get him out,” Gutmann said the woman said in between sobs. “When I asked her who her dog is, she continued to cry and beg, and tell me she can’t afford to get him out. I told her, 'it’s okay, we got you. You’re getting your dog back.'”
Gutmann remembered how excited Glock was to see his mom.
“He started jumping on her and doing a happy dance with his tail wagging,” she said. “As the owner was crying and hugging him.”
Gutmann said she gave the woman food and a voucher certificate to get Glock neutered at the local humane society, and a voucher to get her two kittens neutered and spade, as well.
Typically animals at their shelter, she explained, go up for adoption after three days if the owner doesn’t show up. Glock was on that path. Gutmann, who has 140 animals at the shelter looking for forever homes, explains that most animals are redeemed the first three days of their arrival.
It still remains unclear how the pup disappeared. Gutmann created a GoFundMe page to help Glock and his owner, get back on their feet after learning about the hardship she was going through. Their goal is $3,000 and they have already raised $1,571.
“Her current living situation is unsafe and unstable,” she wrote on the page. “There is a genuine possibility she could lose her current living arrangement and not have a place to go.”
She then expressed gratitude to all those people who have reached out to inquire about Glock and his owner’s well-being.
“The generosity and kindness of everyone has been truly inspiring and humbling," said Gutmann. ″I'm proud of Santa Rosa County Animal Services for being progressive, and ensuring positive outcomes as they understand the grand picture of lifesaving.”
Santa Rosa County Animals Services is currently accepting donations through their website and through their Amazon wish list.
“The shelter received hundreds of items from our Amazon wish list and around $6,000 in donations. We are incredibly grateful and thankful for the support we received," Gutmann said. "We are considering using some of these donations to pay it forward by creating a fund to help pets stay with their families during difficult times. Pets that have loving homes should not enter shelters, and instead stay with their families where they are already loved. We have to look out for each other; everyone needs help sometimes. Today you, tomorrow me.”