In the front office of Senatobia-Tate County Animal Shelter, Kris Robinson observed a person walking across the yard. With a dog at his side, a young man walked over the yard.
According to Robinson, the shelter’s interim director, “he told the dog to stay outdoors, and she just sat down. As soon as he walked into the room, he asked, “Can you take my dog?”
Robinson stated that the shelter was at capacity, but she recognized the teen’s need for assistance — and a little bit of luck. “His head sank slightly, and he replied, ‘I’m homeless.’ I’m currently living beneath a bridge, and I just cannot afford to care for her… When I leave to look for employment, I hope she stays; thus far, she has been there when I return, but I’m just worried about her.'”
Robinson recognized how devoted her father was to the dog, Jada, and gathered his details and had him complete a relinquishment form. “She grabbed to him so tightly; he was stepping about and she was holding to his thigh,” Robinson explained. “She’d approach him and sit – she was scared.”
The teen left a bag of dog food with the shelter, and as he walked away, Robinson could see him wiping his face. Robinson brought Jada into the office to decompress, but it was clear she was confused why her dad wasn’t there.
“She climbed up on one of the chairs and looked out the window,” Robinson said. “I went in the back to do some cleaning and when I checked on her, I saw her just laying there with her food.”
By the next day, Jada had gained some confidence in Robinson’s presence, but Robinson was well aware that no one could ever take the position of Jada’s father. She chose to share the dog’s story on Facebook in order to garner some community support. However, she had no idea how much attention her post would garner.
“I wanted to emphasize what this child accomplished and his character,” Robinson explained. “He made no request for himself — he simply wanted to ensure [Jada’s] safety.”
Soon, offers were pouring in from all over the country to foster the dog, but Robinson knew they could do better.
Robinson reached out to a local family who volunteered to take in both the teen and his dog, but the young man was hesitant about accepting the offer. “I had made contact with him and said, ‘Look, these people want to help you,’” Robinson said. “He said, ‘What do you mean? Do they want to adopt her? Can I come see her first?’ And I said, ‘No, buddy, they want to help you.’”
When the teen and his family returned to the shelter to pick up Jada, their reunion couldn’t have been more joyous.
“She raced up to him and leapt on him,” Robinson explained. “He was simply adoring her and wearing a big ol’ smile.”
Jada and her father have now established a safe space to call home – together. Jada is receiving the necessary medical treatment, and the youngster is able to concentrate on his schooling.
“He’s completing his high school requirements and then plans to enroll in classes at a nearby city college and visit the dentist — both of which he’s never done,” Robinson explained.
Robinson is overjoyed that there is now one fewer dog in the shelter and one fewer child on the street.
h/t: The DoDo